Kenny Beesley was first introduced to the construction trade when he was just 13. From that point on, he was hooked. He developed his craft and made it his full-time profession. But in 2016, at the age of 35, he fell from a ladder while working on a house.
“I had a big ol’ bruise on my side,” he said, but the damage extended much deeper. The fall resulted in two fractured vertebrae and three herniated discs, which led to arthritis and degenerative disc disease. “I couldn’t even sit up straight. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sleep.”
Recovery gone awry
Since his accident, Kenny has been plagued by pain and impairment, rendering him unable to work. He recently began to have surgery to try to help his chronic injury.
His first lumbar surgery to trim a portion of his spinal discs was performed on Thursday, Sept. 13, in St. Cloud. The surgery went well, and he was able to return home.
On Saturday, however, he spiked a high fever and began experiencing uncontrollable pain in his back and shooting down his legs to his toes.
“I knew something was wrong,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sit down. I couldn’t stand. I was just miserable.”
When his wife, Amy, returned home from work, they rushed to the emergency department (ED) at Tri-County Health Care. Dennis Faith, M.D., examined Kenny, tested the sensation in his legs and found that despite the severe nerve pain, his legs were completely numb.
“I had a blood pocket in my incision,” Kenny explained. “They said I had an infection somewhere in my body and did not know where.”
Dr. Faith knew the surgeon who had performed Kenny’s surgery in St. Cloud and immediately reached out to update him on the situation. From there, the ED staff sent Kenny by ambulance to St. Cloud where he had surgery on Sunday to treat the infection and repair the incision.
“They did really good. It wasn’t like in and out. They made sure everything that needed to be done was done before I had to go to St. Cloud,” Kenny said. “They said if I would have gone home, I would have died.”
Relief and reliable care
Kenny was glad to be back home after his weekend emergency, but the reprieve was short-lived. On Tuesday, a friend was helping him change his bandages when it caught on his butterfly stitches and ripped three of the six off of his surgery incision. It began leaking fluid, so he and his wife hurried back to the ED.
This time, Amadin Osayomore, M.D., was the doctor in charge. He assessed Kenny’s needs and quickly mobilized his team to repair Kenny’s stitches.
“He looked at me and told them to fix me up. It was really good,” Kenny said. “He shook my hand and said, ‘Have a good day, sir.’ He was a really polite man.”
Kenny said that he doesn’t think his condition will ever get better, but it’s something that he’s learning how to live with. And future surgeries may be able to bring him some relief. “I hurt really bad, but it’s a fact of life. I’m not done with surgeries yet,” he said.
Now that he’s had a few encounters in the Tri-County ED, he is thankful for the staff’s efficiency and dedication to his care. “I just think they’re doing a good job,” Kenny said. “Even when I was really upset, they calmed me down and told me it’s going to be all right. They’ve done really good with me, so that’s why I come here.”