Reconstructive Surgery by Dr. Swelstad
“I started adventuring as a Boy Scout and turned into a professional in 1972 – guiding whitewater river trips on the Grand Canyon and lots more. I also grew up around woodworking and construction and have been using saws my entire life. While working on a bookshelf, I was trying to cut off just a couple of inches of wood and as I went to move my hand, the board moved. I didn’t notice that movement, so when I went to clamp my hand back on the board, I clamped down on the saw blade. My fingers were still attached, just really torn up. It was my first industrial mistake that I couldn’t just put a Band-Aid on. To the ER I went. Once I was in the ER (in Moab) they took a look and knew they couldn’t help me, but knew the doctor who could. So, they shot my hand full of Lidocaine, called Dr. Swelstad and I drove myself Grand Junction (It wasn’t a brain injury it was a hand injury!). When Dr. Swelstad walked in the room, I knew things were going to be ok. I needed someone to fix my hand so I could continue my wild lifestyle. And he did!
While I was in the ER, I was telling Search and Rescue and river stories and taking pictures while Dr. Swelstad was fixing my hand. We had a good time in the ER. Then, I learned the first steps to hand therapy for this type of injury take 12 weeks. I told Dr. Swelstad that I was rowing a boat down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon starting in 10 weeks. I was determined to get well and row my boat. And, I did. Thanks to Dr. Swelstad and my hand therapist, Deb Bumguardner (I did everything she said), I went on my 92nd trip down the Grand Canyon.” BG – Moab, Utah
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.