After sliding down the road for 200 feet, there came fixation for
Melinda Dillon

Melinda recently sent me an e-mail and included a picture and her story.

Melinda Dillon plus fixator

Hi Slim.

I just found your website 2 days ago and have spent the last 2 days reading everything on it.
I would like to send you the long story and the short story of my motorcycle accident recovery. Here's the short - longer to come next week (if you are interested.

Now for my short story - My name is Melinda Dillon. I was 30, single, living in Enid, OK. I worked in management and for fun rode a Harley, played softball, volleyball, golf, and ran my dog.
I was hit on 11/22/98 while riding my motorcycle. I put the bike down at 65 mph and slid 200 feet on my back.
Thank goodness I was in my leathers. [Emphasis mine - all riders take note! SLIM]
I sat up and saw headlights so I tried to stand up and walk off the highway. My right leg never touched down so I looked back and saw my foot twisted and hanging at an odd angle.
I went down to my hands and knees and crawled off the highway. The first person to me assured me my foot came off the road with me and help was on the way.
I had one of the worst compound tib/fib fractures the doctors in Enid had ever seen. I underwent 5 hours of surgery that night to access the damage.
I lost 2 inches of tib / fib was screwed together with a steel plate / severed nerves / torn and cut ligaments and tendons.
I spent 16 days in the hospital enduring 4 more surgeries: 3 INDs (cleaning skin and interior of leg to prevent infection) and finally application of an ilizarov (3 rings below the knee and a foot plate). [See photo above.]
In Jan 1999, had a bone graft from my right hip to my right tib. Another 4 days in the hospital. In Feb 1999, had the foot plate removed. I returned to work on crutches at the end of this month.
In March 1999, boyfriend moved in with me to take care of my dilapidating house. Including but not limited to house cleaning, laundry, watering plants, errands, shopping, cooking, yardwork, dog exercise, and most importantly my emotional crutch.
In April 1999, had a nerve graft and emergency skin graft. The leg had gone through so much trauma and been cut into so many times that with the 2 large incisions up the back of the right calf for the nerve graft - there wasn't enough skin to cover the ankle anymore. The skin for the graft was removed from my left rearend cheek - hidden by bikini bottoms.
Infections occured with the skin graft only. In June 1999, the ilizarov was removed! Stayed in a cast all summer. Was a wonderful feeling to be out of the cage!
August 2, 1999, news came of the foot rotating outwards which means the bone wasn't healed. The ilizarov must be reassembled.
Sept 1 1999, surgery to reapply the ilizarov. This time just a 2 halo with adjustable struts to rotate and compress the tib. The fib had to be cut in half as it had healed to the proper length.
Adjusted struts for about 4 months. Absolutely hated crutches again so I was off of them by mid November. People could not believe I could walk with no assistance with a cage on my leg.
In Jan 2000, highest hopes of cage coming off. Not going to happen.
On Feb 17, 2000, at 11:30am: ilizarov coming off! Had to wear a fiberglass cast for 6 1/2 weeks. Had to then wear a removable walking cast for 8 weeks. After 10 surgeries, I am now walking (slowly with a bad limp) with NOTHING on my leg for the first time since I was hit.
I am far from well and have a LONG way to go with rehab. The doctors are being quite evasive when I ask pointed questions of recovery. We'll see. But I have my leg and I am walking again.

It is amazing how after all this time I can relate to everyone's thoughts, fears, emotions and physically feelings. You all know exactly what I was and am going through.
I must go now. I would love to continue reading your internet site. I have advise for stuff I learned the hard way without anyone's help or previous knowledge. I also intend to give this site's address to my doctor's office for future patients. Please let me know if you would like me to send any more details.

Highest regards in every way!


And I have, of course asked Melinda to keep us up to speed on her progress. I will update the site as info comes in.

Check out the HINTS page for some tips from Melinda including a great idea for an old walker (zimmer) frame.

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