For most teens, the middle of August is a time to enjoy their last bit of freedom and make the most of the remaining summer days. But for Anthony, 16, summer break was about to come to an abrupt end.
An electric scooter accident left him with a broken leg, which meant he could no longer make it into work at his summer job or the boxing gym, where he typically spends most of his days.
A split-second decision
Anthony was making his way home from work one rainy night when his usual commute suddenly hit a bump in the road. His electric scooter unexpectedly ran into some uneven pavement and spun out of control.
At that moment, Anthony had to make a choice and fast. He could either stay on and hope for the best or abandon the scooter altogether. He chose the latter.
“I hopped off to save myself but landed on my ankle, and my leg snapped,” Anthony explains. And while that choice may have cost him his mobility for a few months, it could have very well saved his life.
A cry for help
At the time of the accident, Anthony was only a few blocks away from his house, so his parents were nearby. With the help of some neighbors, they rushed to the nearest hospital to get him stabilized.
Anthony was then transferred to the Orthopaedic Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where a dedicated and specially trained pediatric team was standing by to provide expert evaluation and care, as they do for thousands of injured children each year.
So that his growing bones would heal properly, it was important that Anthony be seen and treated by a pediatric team. The team assessed his injury and determined it to be a compound fracture.
A lucky break
Without proper treatment, Anthony could face some serious consequences, such as infection and even the loss of his leg, as J. Todd Lawrence, MD, PhD, a CHOP orthopaedic surgeon, explained to Anthony’s parents.
“Dr. Lawrence took us out of the room to talk to us,” Anthony’s mom, Krystine, reveals. “We didn't tell Anthony about the possible complications until he was out of surgery.”
Not only was the bone exposed from tearing through the skin, but there was also dirt and gravel embedded in the wound from the fall. But that didn’t stop Dr. Lawrence from swiftly operating on Anthony, cleaning his wound, performing bone reconstruction, and repairing the skin and soft tissues all in one go.
It wasn’t until after the successful surgery that Anthony learned just how lucky he was. Upon receiving the good news, he also learned that multiple complications, including amputation, had been discussed. Luckily, that worst case scenario never happened. With his bones reset and wounds closed, Anthony could now look forward to a full recovery.
A step at a time
Anthony is not only lucky enough to still have both his legs, but he also has a great support system to boot. His friends keep him company at home while his mom does everything she can to speed up his recovery, including getting him into physical therapy as soon as possible. Krystine is also in the process of finding a new owner for her son’s e-scooter; it no longer has a place in their home.
Meanwhile, the hardest part for Anthony is undoubtedly sitting still. Even as he patiently awaits the “green light,” Anthony can’t help but plan his return to the ring, starting with “some normal workouts — nothing crazy,” he assures us. Lucky for him, it’s only a matter of time before the gloves can come back on.