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Meghan’s Story

Meghan was seriously injured in Phoenix Arizona on Saturday January 17th, 2009.  She was competing with her Level 10 TAGS Gymnastics team in a competition. She suffered two broken legs, artery damage to right leg and compartment syndrome in each leg.

She was originally in the St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix for 3.5 weeks since January 17th. She was transferred to Gillette's Children's Hospital in St. Paul MN where she continued her recovery for another 4 weeks.  Meghan moved back home in March and is still doing rehab daily.


Update: Feb 11th, 2009 - Meghan was transferred to Gillette Children's in St. Paul after 3.5 weeks in Phoenix. March 4th: Meghan has been discharged from Gillette but will continue outpatient therapy and rehabilitation over the next year or more.

January 17, 2009: Phoenix Arizona-At the Meet, Meghan finished a very nice floor routine and scored a 9.25 (3rd place)

On her 2nd event, Meghan landed her vault (Front on, Front Tuck) on her feet however her legs locked, legs hyper extended, and she ended up fracturing each leg in the tibia plateau (growth plate) and suffered major artery damage to her right lower leg. Unfortunately, in the next couple of days, she also developed serious compartment syndrome in each leg.

Meghan spent nearly 23 hours in the ER with Lisa (mom), cousin Paula Gustafson and her Head Coach Bryon Hough.

In the ER: The ER Doctor at St. Joseph's Hospital was ready to have her discharged with 2 crutches that first night. Thankfully with the help of our friends and resources in the Twin Cities (Mpls via phone), especially the knowledge of Tom Kiff, we were able to push for more tests to be done on her condition.  Relunctantly by the ER Doc, the tests were finally done and the next day the Orthopedic Surgeon came in to see Meghan and discovered 2 broken legs and the artery damage (on Sunday after getting a CT Scan done per our request.)
Meghan was rushed into surgery at that point.(23 hours later) Initially, the surgeons placed screws into each leg to secure the bones together, and then the vascular surgeon did an artery graft from Meghans upper leg and replace the damaged artery in her lower Rt leg.

The first week was quite difficult as full circulation to her right foot was not evident for 3-4 days and the first artery graft clotted. A 2nd and 3rd surgery (Artery Graft replacement due to clotting) helped Meghan's artery to begin to open up and hold. Meghan still did not have a full pulse through her right foot. The doctors left her wounds open on the Right Leg to alleviate the pressure on the artery. They also put Meghan on 2 special medications to fire up the spasm'd vessels in her foot and also have Meghan do Hyperbaric Oxygen tank treatments, 2hrs x 2x daily for the next week. This was successful. Her foot suddenly began to come back to color and warmth and the immediate threat of losing the foot or leg lessened.

Meghan had 9 surgeries in Arizona. The doctors closed up her surgical wounds in Phoenix after 3+ weeks. They were able to close her right leg up as well with the plastic surgeon doing his work including skin grafts.

We worked hard behind the scenes to get Meghan home to Minnesota. She was transferred by medical ambulance to Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul, MN. The Med e Vac plane transport was not covered by normal insurance and the USA Gymnastics Insurance. An anonymous donor helped get this covered and we are so thankful.

Thank you for your support. Meghan is so strong. She could not wait to get back home near her friends, family, Lakeville North HS classmates/teachers and teammates at TAGS Gymnastics. Emotionally and physically, this has been very hard on Meghan and her family, friends, coaches and teammates. The kind wishes, prayers and efforts of support have been much appreciated. Lisa stayed in AZ with Meghan for nearly 4 weeks. Doug and Ryan flew down for the first 8 days and returned when Meghan became a little more stable.

All of the cards and balloons and gifts have helped carry Meghan through her rough days. Her day was brightened again by recieving a gift from the MN Twins, Justin Morneau signed #33 Baseball. One of her favorite Twins. Thank you MN Twins and Justin.

Note: Meghan's TAGS teammates held it together and motivated each other to finish the meet in Phoenix and they won the meet that day!


Bergman Family, Doug, Lisa, Ryan and Meghan