Mending Broken Bones and Mending a Life

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Published on April 24, 2018

Mending Broken Bones and Mending a Life

Beverly's Story

Patient Bev Bolduc on examine table with Dr. Sean Burns examining her leg.Bev Bolduc arrived at Concord Hospital in February 2016 with more than a dozen bones below her waist broken or shattered. A pickup truck had skidded on slippery Route 28 in Barnstead after passing a line of cars in a snowstorm and slammed head-on into her.

First responders cut her out of her mangled car, then sped her to Concord Hospital, where she was greeted by a trauma team led by orthopaedic trauma surgeon Dr. Sean Burns of Concord Orthopaedics.

“I remember the ambulance doors opening and there were all of these people and I said ‘Oh my gosh, you are all here for me? I’m not that special. It didn’t occur to me that was the trauma team,” Bev said.

As she heard Dr. Burns listing her injuries — four fractured ribs and a fractured hip, pelvis, thigh, both shins, both calves, knee, ankle and foot — Bev wondered if she would walk again.

“I’m thinking ‘How in God’s name are you going to put me back together again?’ and he did,” she said. “I have to say that Dr. Burns truly saved my life.”

Bev, who was 63 at the time, was driving from her home in Wolfeboro to her job as a psychiatric nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in
Manchester. While trapped in the car, she called work to say she wouldn’t be in that day, or maybe the next week. It took several months for Bev to get back on the job after three surgeries, 11 days at Concord Hospital and 32 days at two rehabilitation facilities. She also spent some time during recovery with her brother in Vermont. She got good care there, but moved back to Concord to stay with her daughter, so she would be closer to Dr. Burns and the team from The Orthopaedic Institute at Concord Hospital that cared for her.

Dr. Burns’ expert orthopaedic care literally put the pieces back together, enabling Bev to go on with her life. “I am back doing everything that I had always done before, I just do it slower and sometimes not even that much slower. I do everything I want to do.”

Bev said everyone on her treatment team and Hospital staff went out of their way to accommodate her and make her feel special. She fondly remembers the day she had had it with her hair. Through several surgeries and days of lying in a Hospital bed, her hair had gotten matted. It looked and felt awful and she asked a nurse to shave it off . Instead, a nurse and licensed nursing assistant went to work, spending a couple of hours to help Bev shampoo and comb out her hair.

“It was pretty special. That’s when you know people really care. It’s not just a job. It’s about caring about someone else who is in a tough spot,” Bev said.

The traffic accident gave Bev her first experience with Concord Hospital’s orthopaedic care. The second came on the day she moved back from Vermont. Bev tripped in a Manchester parking lot and broke her leg. Instead of calling an ambulance that would have taken her to the closest hospital in Manchester, Bev had her daughter drive her to Concord Hospital.

“All I could think of was, just get me to Concord and I’ll be okay,” she said. “I wanted to come back to where I felt they had saved my life.”