firelands regional medical center blog

Published on August 15, 2017

From a Tragic Accident to an Inpatient Rehab Facility Close to Home: Andrew’s Story

On the afternoon of March 12, 2014, Andrew Clouser was called into work early to help contend with the numerous car accidents obstructing the Ohio Turnpike, which were triggered by an onslaught of whiteout conditions.

Andrew was dispatched to an accident of two semi-trucks that had crashed into each other. When he arrived at the scene he found the entire eastbound lane blocked.

“Quite a few cars had backed up, so I parked the patrol car and started walking to the scene of the crash. Before I reached the semi-trucks, a tanker truck smacked into a van, which then smashed into my parked car. I could hear the people in the van screaming and crying. I approached the van on the right hand side and just as I opened the door another semi hit the left side of the van, and everything went blank.”

When Andrew regained consciousness he was face down in the snow. He attempted to move, but his shoulders hit the under carriage of both vehicles. “The two cars were parallel to each other and I was underneath them. I was able to radio another patrolman for help. He and some other drivers were able to push the car off of me as I rolled out of the way. Because of the weather, we waited about 30 to 40 minutes for an ambulance to reach me.”

The ambulance rushed Andrew to the emergency room at Firelands Regional Medical Center where he was stabilized, and because of the extent of his injuries, transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo. Due to the weather conditions, he was transported by ambulance rather than the LifeFlight helicopter.

Andrew spent 12 days at St. Vincent’s Hospital. His injuries were extensive: five broken ribs on his left side, a punctured left lung which resulted in bleeding in his chest cavity, lacerations to his spleen, liver and kidney, and a broken right femur in three places near his hip.

Because of the severity of his injuries, Andrew’s physicians recommended that he go to an inpatient rehab facility. “I couldn’t function on my own,” he said. “I couldn’t put weight on my right leg, which was held together with a rod in my femur. That meant I couldn’t walk, couldn’t get out of bed by myself or cook for myself. I definitely needed help with just about everything. I decided to go to the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center because I live in Sandusky and my mom, who lives in Michigan, could stay at my place while I was in rehab.”

Andrew arrived at Firelands’ inpatient rehab facility on March 24 and remained there for 10 days. He underwent physical therapy and occupational therapy three hours a day, Monday through Saturday. By his own admission, the facility exceeded his expectations.

“The therapists pushed me to work hard, and each day I could tell I was making progress. They did everything they could to help me regain my strength and ability to live normally. They were easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable.”

Andrew was discharged from the inpatient rehab facility on April 3. His mother stayed with him for two weeks, helping him with his daily activities as he adjusted to navigating around his house on crutches. He continues his exercises and once he is able to put weight on his leg will receive outpatient physical therapy at Firelands Regional Medical Center. He plans to return to work in late summer.

“I never would have recovered like I have without the help of the rehabilitation team at Firelands. I owe them so much. I don’t mind singing their praises, because they definitely deserve it.”

Learn more about the inpatient rehabilitation services at Firelands Regional Medical Center today.

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