When Julia Larson took a tumble, her team sprang into action. The budding gymnast was trying an aerial cartwheel off the balance beam and fell, landing hard on her hand and breaking both bones in her forearm, the radius and ulna. Julia’s mom Wendy was at work, an hour away; grandma LeAnne Larson was close enough to get Julia to the Farmington Clinic within minutes, where Julia’s own doctor, Dr. Nick Krawczyk, saw her right away (giving up his lunch hour to care for her). Julia had seen Dr. Nick just the week before for a well-child checkup. Quick care from her favorite doctor put Julia at ease during a painful, panicky time. “It’s rare to see your family doctor when you’re injured – someone you trust and know when you’re scared and hurt, who can help you navigate what you need,” Dr. Krawczyk says. “I was glad that I could do that.” “She loves Dr. Nick,” Wendy says. “They have a good relationship, and she’s always happy to see him.”
Julia’s arm was x-rayed and splinted; the fracture was so severe that Dr. Krawczyk reviewed the x-rays online with an orthopaedic specialist in the nearby Lakeville Clinic, and Julia was in to see orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Erik Stroemer within 90 minutes. Julia didn’t need surgery or pins to mend the break, but she did need special care to straighten and align her bones before casting, a procedure that’s better under anesthesia. Dr. Stroemer set her up with his colleague, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Hans Bengtson, for the next morning at the Surgery Center at Northfield Hospital. It was Julia’s first time in a hospital. “I was freaked out about going under,” she says. “Then all the doctors talked with me and told me what they were going to do. I felt calm and thought, ‘Oh yeah, I can do this.’” “The staff at the Surgery Center was great,” Julia’s mom recalls. “By the time she walked away from me to go in, she was all smiles.” Julia was on her way home with her new cast . . . just 24 hours after her injury. Now she’s bouncing back.
Julia’s advice for kids going to the hospital? “You don’t have to be scared. They will take really good care of you.” Wendy’s advice for parents of budding gymnasts: “Make sure they have a spotter.” And a well-coordinated team.
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