When the Flint area was hit with a winter storm around February 22-23, 2023, like most people in the area... I thought nothing of it. Plan ahead, be prepared for power outages and get through it. When the snow and ice melted, there wasn't much left after maintaining it. I thought nothing of getting out of the car, after running errands... That's when I hit black ice in my driveway. All the stuff that was melting froze again. Getting out of my SUV, my body went one way, my left ankle went the other, entirely.

My First Ambulance Experience and the Emergency Room

  • It looked gruesome. Immediately, I called 911. One of the EMS team (also named Nate) and his partner loaded me up. Then, cut my pant leg off to brace my ankle until arriving at Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc. They were fantastic -- and were sure to say they'd save my left Nike VaporMax (haha).
  • While my sister was on her way from Flushing, everything about the intake went smoothly. I can't thank the emergency doctors and nurses enough for their great bedside manner. Excellent communication and patience. We even joked around -- I was apparently the fifth (of many more to come) ankle break because of the icy conditions. Surgery would be scheduled the following Friday.
Credit: Nate Reed
The temporary ankle fix while finishing up in the ER. Credit: Nate Reed

The Rebuild of My Ankle

  • Enter Doctor Edward J Lis DO, Orthopedic Surgeon. This doc and his team are some of the kindest, most efficient and communicative I've ever encountered. Shortly after arrival they get you in a room and Dr Lis is there within three minutes -- no joke, I counted, each time.
  • The following week, my brother-in-law from Midland took me to the Surgery Center for a 90-minute procedure where each of the three bones and ligament were reattached with screws & plates to make my ankle "whole" again. The science and expertise still amaze me. The nursing staff and doctors were wonderful through every step. (I'm terrible in medical situations -- passing out is "my thing." Each was understanding and made sure I remained present.)
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Best Nurses, Doctors and Emergency Care Around Genesee County

  • While I have a few more weeks of recovery, follow-up appointments, and eventually, physical therapy, I'm so grateful for the care, compassion and professionalism I encountered every step of the way. A giant, heartfelt thank you to all of the wonderful EMS, doctors, nurses and office staff for making this surprise journey bearable. Thankfully, they met my jokes and sarcasm with some of their own, too. (My attempt at being a good patient in a tough situation.)
Credit: Canva, Nate Reed, TSM
Myles, Nate's German Shepherd kept close on security duty. Credit: Canva, Nate Reed, TSM

A special thanks to my 17-year-old niece for staying with me throughout the process, too. She and Myles (my German Shepherd in the pics) have stayed by my side, helping me through all of it (learning crutches, entertaining me, bringing meals & meds, etc) Much love and all my thanks.

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