Noah Graham began his senior year of college unlike any other year. He expected his final year at playing college football to be memorable, but when mowing a friend’s lawn went wrong, he learned just how precious every moment on the field was to him.
Noah had just finished his finals and completed his junior year at Taylor University in May 2018, and he had offered to mow a friend’s lawn. While he was mowing, a hill covered in morning dew and slick grass made him lose control of the mower, severely injuring his left foot.
“As I began to slip, I tried to get out of the line of the mower, but in doing so launched my left leg towards the rear of the mower,” Noah said. “My foot was mangled by the blades and I was unable to walk. Luckily, I was a few blocks down from a hospital. I crawled to my truck, got my phone and wallet, and began crawling down the sidewalk. Eventually, a kind stranger allowed me to get in his car and drove me the last few hundred yards.”
He was initially treated for his injury at his local hospital in Marion, Indiana, but he was transported to Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis in order to receive the highest level of orthopedic care. Luckily, OrthoIndy trauma surgeon, Dr. Greg Reveal was on-call to treat Noah.
“I was brought to the trauma center at Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis due to a severe laceration of my left foot, caused by an accident with a lawnmower,” Noah said.
OrthoIndy Trauma is partnered with Ascension, providing care exclusively at the trauma center located at Ascension at St.Vincent Indianapolis.
“He suffered an unfortunate accident involving a lawn mower when he slid down a hill while using a push mower and the blade nearly amputated his left great toe,” Dr. Reveal said. “The surgical decision was made due to the traumatic near amputation caused by the lawnmower blade and the contamination of the wound.
According to Dr. Reveal, Noah’s amputation surgery was successful, with Noah’s parents present and available during the whole process.
What happened after surgery?
After surgery, Noah was unable to walk for six weeks and was in excruciating pain, which made him unable to train for football, ending his collegiate football career. His team allowed him to act as an assistant coach for his position and he still got to be an active part of the squad.
“I was blessed enough to not have any lapse in my education and return to school as normal in the fall,” Noah said. “But what I am most proud of, is that I was able to go in for one last play at the end of my senior night. Suited up and at full speed. I was given that opportunity because of the incredible work of Dr. Reveal and the OrthoIndy team.”
“Noah’s limitations after full recovery were minimal,” Dr. Reveal said. “If he was able to play football, we allowed him to continue to play at his discretion.”
“Noah and his parents were a wonderful family to work with and understood the inevitable decision to undergo complete amputation of his left great toe,” Dr. Reveal said. “His mental strength and desire to recover played an impressive part in his uneventful recovery.”
What was his rehabilitation? I feel like that should me mentioned here. What is it like to walk after losing your big toe? Etc.
Noah is now almost three years out and his life couldn’t be more normal. He graduated in May 2019, is working full time in sales, getting married in May and is looking forward to getting back into recreational running.
Although long distance running is still a challenge, Noah has been able to keep up an avid golf schedule and looks forward to the future when he can be fully active.
“My life was affected by my injury, but Dr. Reveal and OrthoIndy ensured that it would only be temporary,” Noah said. “My foot still aches from time to time, and I have the occasional nerve pain, but all in all my life is as normal as can be.”
Noah can’t thank the nursing staff, post-op crew, Dr. Reveal and OrthoIndy enough for his recovery. Even though OrthoIndy is an hour and a half from his home and his alma mater he was attending at the time, he knew he trusted OrthoIndy to give him the best level of care.
“We chose OrthoIndy because of its reputation for excellence,” Noah said. “I was lucky enough to receive some care at another hospital, but my (and my family’s) decision to go to OrthoIndy was rooted in our trust and the abilities of the surgeons and staff.”
Noah praises the doctors, nurses and staff for making a terrible and devastating time in his life better by giving him an excellent patient experience and providing him with professional care.
“Thank you, to the entire staff who treated me. From the minute I arrived at the hospital, to the day I left, I felt like I was in the best possible hands,” Noah said. “Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Reveal please call 317.917.4389 or learn more about OrthoIndy Trauma.
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