When our son Quinn was four years old, we called Dr. Scher's office to describe his acute condition. It was Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, he was sick and injured and we urgently begged for someone at HSS to take over his care. As a patient, Quinn was completely unknown to the HSS staff. Despite that, the HSS team listened to us and believed that Quinn was unnecessarily suffering after a severe open fracture to his humerus had left him hospitalized for a week with unresolved symptoms, extreme pain and intermittent listlessness. Our situation sounded complicated: possibly surgically resetting a break, excessive infection, and other unknowns.
It would have been easier for HSS to leave him with the doctors who were first caring for him. However, Dr. Scher took on our case and we transported Quinn to the city. There, the staff provided a new perspective on his injury, team work among doctors Dr, Scher, Dr. Widmann and Dr. Hotchkiss performed the first surgery together with extraordinary long term medical and therapeutic care. It is not an exaggeration to say that Drs. Scher, Widmann and Hotchkiss saved his arm and possibly his life.
Due to poor initial attention, alarming aspects of Quinn's condition had been overlooked. For ten days, his body had been suffering from foreign body infection due to playground wood chips that were lodge in his arm from the original accident. He also had undiagnosed nerve damage that had destroyed all sensation in his arm and hand. After five surgeries and extensive rehabilitation at HSS, Quinn is not only a rock start in the classroom but also an actual rock climber on a local team. He still speaks of his doctors, knowing that their expertise and compassion gifted him full use of his hand and arm.
While years have passed since the incident, we have never forgotten how HSS completely redirected Quinn's deteriorating condition. Famed children's author, Dr. Seuss, once wrote: "sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." At HSS, where professionalism, expertise and true compassion are the absolute standard, doing the right thing for a patient is never complicated.