“Simon says do a flip”
When Dana Griffith, 14, heard her sibling’s instruction while playing a round of Simon Says on the trampoline, she was ready. The cheerleader used the trampoline to practice jumps and flips, so this should be easy. Mid-flip, Dana realized Simon never said which way to land, and before she could make the decision, she fell awkwardly on her hands. She heard distinct pops, and it was clear it wasn’t a normal fall.
The trampoline, a gift this past Christmas, had only been up a few weeks. Dana’s mother, Michelle Griffith, thought the trampoline would be a good way to get some exercise and fend off boredom during the state’s stay at home orders during COVID-19 pandemic. All of her kids had experience with trampolines and the typical gymnastics done on the backyard toy. Unfortunately, it only took a wrong move to land Dana inside the house with ice packs and ibuprofen.
Unsure how to navigate getting care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle reached out to Dana’s pediatrician for guidance. The Griffiths were not sure if it was safe or even necessary to bring Dana into the emergency department (ED) or if they could even get in. After a quick conversation about Dana’s injury and the additional COVID-19 precautions being taken at all Akron Children’s facilities, it was clear it was time to put masks on and head to the ED at the Beeghly campus.
Dana was quickly X-rayed and Dr. Sheryl Handler, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the director of orthopedic surgery, reviewed the results. Dana had not only dislocated her wrists, but broke her arm in multiple places, including her elbow. The news held an extra layer of disappointment with Dana’s birthday being the next day.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Michelle still reflects back on that experience with some positivity. The two felt the staff was extremely caring and knowledgeable. It was clear to them that Dana was in good hands. Each staff member seemed to take the time to make sure both Dana and Michelle fully understood what was happening and what the next steps may be.
Before the end of the day, Dana had her diagnosis and follow-up appointment for the next day scheduled. She was ready to move on to her birthday and to healing.
Several days after the accident, Dana had surgery at the Akron campus to correct her arm. The teen was sporting new hardware, including a screw in her elbow and a rod placed in her lower arm. “The before and after X-rays were impressive,” says Michelle.
For the next 4 weeks, Dana followed all of her doctor’s orders. She made sure to elevate the arm, take her medicines on time and put on a brave face to get the rod removed from her arm right there in her doctor’s office.
All the pain and effort paid off. Just 1 month and 1 day after the accident, Dana’s cast was removed. She now wears a removable brace and is making strides to get back to her summer plans of running, acting, modeling and swimming. Happy healing, Dana!