Jeanne’s Story

Jeanne Ekholm
Car Crash Survivor

March 7, 2016

I was driving to work, making the same trip I had every weekday for the past 34 years. About 3 miles from home, a car speeding toward me spun out of control and we collided. Her passenger-side door hit my car head-on. Both cars went airborne. Every window was broken, and there wasn’t an inch of my car that wasn’t wrinkled or dented.

After that, I only remember bits and pieces. Apparently, a boy came up to my car to check on me and I said, “Get me out of here.” He later told me he was just happy to hear my voice and know I was alive.

Then the first responders and EMTs arrived very quickly; I call them my earth angels. I remember one of them kept saying, “Stay with me. Stay calm.” They called for a helicopter to pick me up and take me to St. Luke’s, where my husband and kids met me. The doctors waited to take me into surgery until my husband arrived, so he could see me before I went in.

In surgery, I had a rod placed in my arm, and 6 inches of intestine removed. I also had fractured legs and a torn rotator cuff. Of course, as soon as I woke up, I said I wanted to go home. Everyone just sort of laughed. I didn’t know how serious it was, or that I’d be there for 21 more days.

As I recovered, I started to set goals for myself. My wedding anniversary was a month away, and I just wanted to be able to dance with my husband by then, and I did it. It was just in the living room, but we did dance.

Through it all, I remember everyone at St. Luke’s treating me and my husband like we were the only ones there. The first day I was able to walk, the entire rehab floor stood and clapped. I can’t think of one thing that could have been done better or differently.

Meet Jeanne’s
Doctors

Shawn Brown, MD
Emergency Medicine

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Shawn Brown, MD
Emergency Medicine

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Mark Monte
Trauma Surgeon

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Mark Monte
Trauma Surgeon

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David Fogarty, MD
Orthopedic

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David Fogarty, MD
Orthopedic

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Samuel Laney, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehab

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Samuel Laney, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehab

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