Michele will never forget September 10, 2010. Riding her motorcycle after work on an overcast day, a car drove right into her and her bike. Michele slid off the cycle and landed across the street onto a 2-lane road going the other way. The car, driven by a young man under the influence, drove right over the bike.
Michele stayed conscious lying on the road and didn’t feel pain, until she looked down and saw her femur sticking out of her jeans.
Leaving three inches of her femur on the road, she was immediately taken to the closest hospital in the northern part of the cities. Too complicated for them to handle, she was transferred to Hennepin Healthcare's Emergency Department, HCMC, a Level 1 Adult & Pediatric Trauma Center. Losing her leg was a possibility, but the excellent trauma and surgery team immediately went to work.
Michele spent two weeks as an inpatient. After two weeks recovery at home, she spent two weeks in Hennepin Healthcare's Burn Center in November to address the burns on her leg. Her injuries required a lot of skin grafting, taking skin from the top of her thigh to graft on her shin which had been badly burned.
Michele endured a total of 9 orthopedic surgeries and 2 debridement surgeries (where unhealthy tissue is removed from a wound to promote healing). She also endured a skin graft from a fracture blister. One inch of her femur eventually grew back and she had some bone grafting to make up for the loss of part of her femur. Although today she walks with a slight limp, she credits Dr. Andrew Schmidt and his team, for saving her leg.