Ian Wyatt was taking a final run of the day on his snowboard in Truckee near Lake Tahoe when he hit a patch of ice on an unused trail. Wyatt flew into the air, landing on his left shoulder and breaking his collarbone and several ribs.
“It knocked the wind out of me and was pretty scary,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt, 54, was taken to a nearby hospital and then transferred to the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, where he said he had an exceptional care experience, which helped him heal and get back to his favorite sport.
“I am very grateful to have had the teams at South Sacramento care for me during my time in need,” said Wyatt, an El Dorado Hills resident.
Wyatt stayed at the South Sacramento Medical Center for several days while Domingo Hallare, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the medical center, assessed his injury and performed surgery on his collarbone.
The doctors at the first hospital Wyatt was taken to in Truckee told him he didn’t have to have surgery on his collarbone, which didn’t seem right to Wyatt because of how his shoulder felt after the accident.
Wyatt said he appreciated how Dr. Hallare explained his condition to him and all his treatment options, in a simple, yet detailed way.
“I made a decision to press ahead with the surgery, knowing it was the right decision for me,” Wyatt said.
Dr. Hallare said as he performed the surgery on Wyatt, he discovered part of the broken collarbone pierced through some muscle, which would have made it impossible for the bone to heal properly on its own. The surgery involved putting in a metal plate and 11 screws to stabilize the bone.
After the surgery, Dr. Hallare followed up regularly with Wyatt on how his shoulder was healing.
“I liked that Dr. Hallare did both the surgery and the follow-up as well. It made me feel more connected and cared for,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt’s shoulder and the collarbone are expected to heal fully in about 2 years, but he said he already has full motion of his shoulder back, aside from some numbness.
‘Extra sense of warmth’
Wyatt said he was struck by the compassion, dignity, and respect shown to him by his entire care team, including his nurses as well as the environmental services, phlebotomy, and food services teams.
Jennifer Dabandan, who was Wyatt’s main nurse during his stay at the hospital, really stood out.
“She provided very consistent care with an extra sense of warmth when she spoke to me about the care being provided,” Wyatt said. “Talking with her, I felt she truly listened.”
“It’s really important for patients to feel that we’re not just there to work, but that we’re there to take care of them, to make them feel like they’re being listened to and cared for,” Dabandan said. “No one wants to be in the hospital, so you want to make patients feel as comfortable as possible.”
Today, Wyatt said he is about 98% healed thanks to his care at the South Sacramento Medical Center. He looks forward to being back on his snowboard again.