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Nancy’s Story

Thank you for visiting the Caring Bridge site for Dr. Nancy Vetscher, veterinarian, wife, mother, and grandmother. As we learn of changes to Nancy's condition, we will post them here.

On March 8th, 2011 Nancy was out on a call tending to one of her horse patients when she was kicked in the head, severely injuring the right side of her face. She was airlifted to North Memorial hospital, where we are told she is in the hands of Dr. Van Beek - a renowned reconstructive surgeon. Nancy suffered severe injury to the base of her orbital socket, which holds the eye in place. Her sinus cavity was completey collapsed, her mandible has been broken, and she has a large laceration from her forehead down beside her nose. Due to the swelling around her face, Nancy had a tracheotomy inserted. She is currently undergoing reconstructive surgery which includes a bone graft from her skull to rebuild the orbital socket. In addition, her jaw will be wired shut. Fortunately, there does not seem to be any cognitive impairments. When she was flown in, she was lucid and talking to the doctors. Nancy is a strong woman - once a single mother of three girls and always working hard at whatever she does in life. We know she can get through this. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Latest Journal Update

Another 9 hours

What a day - another 9 hour surgery for mom. This time there were two surgeons - the ENT, and the plastic surgeon. 
The ENT went first and did quite a bit of work clearing out her sinus cavities, creating a drain for maxillary sinus on the injured side of her face, and straightening her septum. This should help her be able to breathe better. We received news at about 10:30AM that this procedure was successful. 
We just got done sitting down with the plastic surgeon, who reported that while it was a long surgery, everything went well. The bone from the original graft had resorbed and needed to be rebuilt, so Mom had a bone graft taken from her left rib. This allowed him to also move her eye forward and over to the correct position; however, it's likely going to be the most painful part about the surgery because she'll be feeling it every time she breathes.
In addition, he took a graft from her ear to rebuild the nare (nostril), and detached her lip scar from her gum inside her mouth. Unfortunately, the surgery went long, so mom didn't get a new tear duct this time...meaning this is not the last surgery.
I'm really excited to see her before she swells up, because the doctor said we should see a pretty big difference right away.
It's a long road, but from here it looks like mom is half-way there in terms of getting through all of this. The doctor made an interesting comment when we asked, "How long will she be in pain from this?" His response: "Well, she's quite remarkable that way. I suspect she'll be feeling quite a bit better in just a 3-4 days." Wow - just a testament to her tough nature. Too bad I didn't inherit those genes. ;-)