Avery VanderWeele, age 14 and an aspiring collegiate athlete at Charleston Collegiate on John’s Island, experienced an unexpected injury on March 29. Avery and Zoe, his younger sister, had gone to Sky Zone with close friends. Avery was going up to shoot a basket when he lost his balance and landed hard on top of his arm. He was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at MUSC Children’s Health.
His mother, Eve, and her husband, met them at the emergency room. They all felt comfort when Dr. Robert F. Murphy came into the room. Dr. Murphy is a board-certified pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, and the VanderWeeles had met him previously, when he had consulted with Avery about his knees. Fortunately, they learned that it was a clean break in the ulna and radius of his arm.
“The doctors and nurses are so caring and compassionate, and they put you at ease as they talk through the process,” said Eve VanderWeele.
Avery’s arm was set in a cast, and they went home.
A week later they returned for a checkup and after x-rays learned that the bone had shifted and would require surgery.
“Avery took all that information very well and had confidence in Dr. Murphy, who was great at explaining everything and was a very calming influence,” she said.
On April 9th, Avery had his surgery at MUSC Children’s Hospital. The surgery was at 8:30 a.m., and they were on our way home by 12:30 in the afternoon. She recalled the nurse calling from the operating room and giving an update on Avery, which she said was very reassuring.
Avery did well through surgery and the bone is healing properly. He is now in the middle of physical therapy sessions.
The entire experience prompted Eve to send an email to Dr. Murphy, which says in part:
“I know I mentioned this already during Avery’s follow up appointment, but I cannot thank you and your staff enough for a great experience. I truly have so much more appreciation for what you all do on a daily basis. Like any parent, when our child is hurting, or in need and in someone else’s care, it is so helpful to know what great hands they are in. You have a calming presence and from a worrisome mom like me, this means so much. MUSC is a wonderful Children’s Hospital. All of the nurses, doctors and staff were so professional, so helpful, and so kind! I truly appreciated the OR nurse calling and updating us.
Life takes us down this journey and we never know where the road ends, but I truly feel like this minor setback for our son, and unexpected interruption in our lives, has had so many blessings and you have been one of those blessings.”