Russ Palma | CaringBridge

Russ Palma

First post: Oct 19, 2017 Latest post: Jan 9, 2018
Russ had a bad biking accident on Saturday, October 14. We were riding down the steep ramp to get onto the Greenway bike path from Bryant Ave and going pretty fast when a squirrel ran in front of Russ’ bike. He didn’t even see it and with the shock of running over something lost his balance and slammed to the ground. It was horrible!! His face was covered with blood, his helmet was broken and he was yelling and writhing in pain. There was no one in sight to help and I didn’t have my phone with me. I just started screaming for help and someone from up above at street level heard me and called 911 and an ambulance. He also came down to the bike path and gave me his shirt to compress on Russ’ forehead to stop the bleeding. Before that I was using my bare hands which were now completely covered in blood. When the EMTs came they collared him and cut off much of his clothing. It took them a while to get him onto the stretcher and into the ambulance because he was in so much pain. They took us to the Trauma Center at HCMC. It was quite something…at least 15 people in the room all scurrying around doing their various jobs. The blood was from a cut above his right eye which they stitched up. His eye was pretty much swollen shut. No other head injuries thankfully. He never lost consciousness and had no concussion. The CT scan showed he broke his pelvis in several places and a couple broken ribs all on his right side. They put a pin through the bottom of his femur attached to traction to pull the femur away from the injured pelvis until they could do surgery. There are only 2 doctors in Minnesota that do traumatic pelvic injury surgery so Russ had to wait his turn. Fortunately he was able to have surgery Monday noon. They put in a big curved plate and screws. They said recovery will be 8 weeks until he can put weight on that leg. We’re not sure how long he will be in the hospital and if or when he will be going to a rehab facility. It depends on how his PT goes which started Tuesday and amounted to siting up on the edge of the bed standing with a walker and sitting in a chair. He’s advanced now to ‘hopping forward’ on his left leg with the help of the walker. The worst part was the first 3 days he was getting horrible muscle cramps, Charlie horse type, in his injured side which were killers. Those have mostly subsided now. I’ve been at the hospital 12-14 every day because he has been so helpless flat on his back. Today, Wednesday October 18, he has been sitting up in a chair most of the day so that is good. The transfers from bed to chair are difficult!!

Life changes fast!!

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