EvergreenHealth provides the Eastside’s highest levels of trauma care that helped one family overcome a significant sports injury.
This spring, student-athlete Will Woodward was finishing up his senior year at Eastlake High School when he suffered a severe head injury during baseball practice. He and another player collided while diving for a fly ball, with Woodward’s forehead absorbing much of the impact.
“It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt – times three,” Woodward recalled. Still, he remained remarkably composed, unaware of his injury’s significance.
At home, his mom Elise’s maternal instincts kicked in. She knew something was off and took him immediately to EvergreenHealth’s Redmond emergency department.
A CAT scan revealed a full fracture of Woodward’s forehead and bleeding in his sinus. He would need emergency craniofacial surgery to address his injuries and repair the fracture, so he was transferred to EvergreenHealth’s Kirkland medical center – coincidentally, the same hospital where he was born.
As the family formulated a treatment plan with EvergreenHealth’s trauma specialists, the Woodwards were relieved to know he was going to be OK, but the bigger blow was learning that his senior-year baseball season was over.
“Finding out I had to undergo major surgery and that I wouldn’t be able to finish out the season was pretty devastating news,” Woodward described. “But all of my doctors were amazingly kind and caring in walking me through what to expect.”
Treating Woodward’s head injury required a collaborative approach from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including his emergency physician Dr. Becky Isackson; Dr. Kris Day, a craniofacial surgeon specializing in reconstruction; along with surgical technicians and many other providers highly skilled in trauma services.
Because of the location of the fracture, the team would need to shave his head to make a fairly large incision in a place that wouldn’t leave a visible scar after healing. The procedure also involved placing titanium mesh over the fractured area, a complex surgical procedure that can only be performed at institutions with exemplary trauma services programs and providers.
Luckily, Woodward was able to undergo surgery at EvergreenHealth, enabling him to receive treatment right away while also staying in his home community.
“When we can provide excellent care in our patient’s own community, we often see that they are able to recover more quickly. His experience is a testament to the investment EvergreenHealth has made in ensuring patients have access to the highest level of trauma care offered on the Eastside,” said Dr. Day.
Woodward’s surgery went well, he returned home after a few nights in the hospital, thankful that his injuries would heal, but uncertain if he’d have to miss more activities planned for his senior year.
However, to his surprise, his post-surgery check-ups confirmed that he was doing well enough to be able to attend his senior prom just one week following the procedure. Now, Woodward is off to attend the University of Washington on a baseball scholarship.
“I’m really thankful for my doctors and everyone who cared for me throughout this process,” he said. “It’s given me a new perspective on life, and I’m thankful to be doing so well.”
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