Andrew Reamer likes to climb mountains. He has climbed some of the highest peaks in the U.S.: Mt. Whitney, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Washington, to name a few.
He now faces quite a climb back to where he was before a terrible accident on Lake Austin, in which his legs were turned into "hamburger meat" after being sucked into a boat propeller. He lost 90 percent of his bodily fluids and was infected with six bacteria from the lake water. He had a broken femur, two broken tibias, severely damaged knees and one shattered heel.
Reamer, 29, required 16 surgeries on his legs and feet by Seton orthopedic and reconstructive plastic surgeons at UMC Brackenridge. While short three toes on his right foot, his lower body now looks normal again, save for the many scars. And today he's in Nashville, with his family, undergoing rehabilitation.
He vows to not only walk again, but also to climb more mountains. And in a video shot May 23, the last day of his 46-day stay at UMCB, he said his resolve to fully recover is strengthened tremendously by the doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, chaplains and others who helped through his first month and a half after the accident.
He also said the following:
The chaplains are an amazing service.
The physical and occupational therapists were encouraging and motivating.
The surgeons here are the artists of our day. The plastic surgeons made my feet look like feet again. The whole surgical team was just amazing. The orthopedic surgery team did such a great job that I am able to be weight-bearing a month earlier than projected on one of my legs. Without this, I would be laid up in bed and dependent on others.
The nurses are kind of like family to me now. For all the nurses and nurses aides, thank you for being with me every step of the way. The nurses here (in UMCB's 8th floor) are probably the best nurses in the whole country - and some of the best people in the whole world. You're amazing. I hope to see you all again when I'm walking - and I'm going to come back through the front door as opposed to the emergency room doors.
I think this hospital and every person who is part of it need to realize that they are part of something bigger than just a hospital. That's something I'm very thankful for. I think God was having a real good day when he thought up Brackenridge hospital and especially when he created each of the individuals who help make this place great.