Jay’s Remarkable Recovery

Dr. Garvin and Patient James Ellis smiling for a photo.

James “Jay” Ellis was admitted August 18, 2013 after a motorcycle collision.  He was wearing a helmet and in full gear when his bike skidded on some gravel and he was thrown off. Unfortunately, his legs were injured when they struck a street sign. He arrived at University Hospital in critical condition with multiple long bone fractures but, fortunately, no head injury. On his second day in the hospital, after a necessary operation to amputate his left leg below the knee, Jay stopped following commands and became unresponsive.

After multiple consultations and a thorough review of his history and MRI brain imaging, the cause became clear. Jay had fat embolism syndrome, a rare but known complication after long bone fracture. He endured multiple surgeries for his left leg, multiple blood transfusions and infection. Jay was initially in a coma but slowly, over several weeks, started showing signs of awakening. Almost 6 weeks after experiencing this life-threatening injury and rare complication of fat embolism syndrome, Jay wheeled himself out of the hospital to rehab, talking, laughing and saying thank you.

Article Categories: News, Patient Stories