An accident with an antique tractor happened so fast, Alex Ramirez and his family had no time to consider where to go for medical care. His hand had become detached from his arm and everyone expected Alex to lose the limb.
"The whole drive down there, all I could picture was a stub," said Paul Ireland, Alex’s grandfather. "I knew the hand was gone. There was no doubt in my mind, the hand was gone."
Luckily, the physicians at his local hospital knew to send Alex to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. The state of Nebraska ranks the medical center with the highest level designation as a comprehensive, level one trauma hospital. The medical center is able to treat the most serious injuries. Upon arriving in Omaha, Alex was treated by a team of experts who were able to save his arm and preserve all its functionality.
Alex and his family are forever grateful to orthopedic specialist Nick Bruggeman, MD, who has extensive training in hand and upper extremity injuries and Perry Johnson, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist, for working together to save the hand and return Alex to his normal life.
"Alex is doing awesome," said mom Kristina Shetler. "He's back in school and his grades never went down. He can move his fingers. He can wave. He was riding four-wheelers the other day -- he's not supposed to, but that's how well he's doing. He's even going back out for football."