June 5, 1978 was a "game changer" day for me for sure. At age 16, I was a really good "tinkerer" and mechanic. I could fix and restore just about anything: motorcycles, outboards, lawnmowers, old wooden sailboats... you name it, I could fix it. .But, 36 years ago this afternoon, heading home from a "fix it" job fixing someone's boat, I got hit by a car, and in just one second my whole life was turned upside down. One second a care-free teenager, the next second I was on the ground, with severely crushed leg, bleeding very badly. After crying out to God to spare my life, I saw help coming with a nurse who put a tourniquet on my leg... then the ambulance arrived with my best friend's big brother Terry to hold my hand on way to hospital.... to a caring pastor who happened to be there in the ED to be with me til my parents could arrive... to Dr. Mark Pitman, who was willing to step up and try to save my leg and my life... and the many other caring physical therapists, nurses, nurse's aids who cared for me over those next 3 months in the hospital with 11 surgeries and countless setbacks and disappointments. But there was always an encouraging smile, a listening ear, and a compassionate response that kept me going through it all.
There is no doubt that God used this very "bad thing" in my life to change my heart and direction, working through countless caring people to bring healing in more ways than one.
I am forever indebted to all of them, and every morning I wake up, and put both feet on the floor I remember: Life is a gift. But I remember in a special way each year on June 5. Thank you Dr. Mark and Charles Pitman, Barbara Bader, Physical Therapist, mom and dad, brother and sister, Pastor Brown, and countless friends, family members and caregivers. Life is a truly a gift, and you gave my life back to me so I can now share it freely to serve others with the same compassion you shared with me.
Lloyd A. Hey, MD MS
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery