On Aug. 31, Dan Dillard, pastor of the Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bend, was riding home on his motorcycle on Bear Creek Road when an oncoming car turned without seeing him.
The Ford Mustang broadsided Dillard's
Harley Davidson, which was traveling about 45 mph at the time.
was thrown off the bike, suffering multiple life-threatening injuries.
Seeing the extent of the injuries, bystanders and local residents knelt beside Dillard
, 60, was taken to St. Charles Bend with slim odds of survival.
case may be one of the more complex cases ever treated at the hospital.
And while he
must still make significant progress to survive, his
care has been a model of cooperation and coordination among multiple surgeons and specialists, with hundreds of nurses, technicians and support staff, and the use of a cutting-edge medical procedure never before performed in Central Oregon.
had more pressing issues that needed to be addressed first.
But as they were ready to take Dillard
in for the procedure, a 45-year-old woman arrived at the hospital with a heart attack requiring a cardiac catheterization to clear the blockage.
Those couldn't be blocked off in the same way, so they took Dillard
into surgery to determine what could be done with his
had an open fracture, meaning the bone was exposed through the skin, a complication that is fatal in 50 percent of cases.
They stopped much of the bleeding but couldn't continue with the operation much longer for fear of complications.
They packed the wound tight with gauze and sponges, hoping to create enough pressure to halt the rest of the bleeding.
Within 24 hours, they took Dillard
into surgery again, unpacked the gauze and found a new complication.
When the pelvis shattered, the pelvic ring broke in two places and a sharp bone spur had shifted position and punctured his
But the TEVAR procedure requires giving the patient blood thinners, and doctors first had to get Dillard
to stop bleeding.
will have to be monitored regularly both over the short term and the long term to make sure the graft remains sealed to the wall and isn't allowing blood to leak between the graft and the aortic wall.
Higgins said an open procedure would have been difficult for Dillard
had developed a staph infection as well as a vancomycin-resistant enterococci infection, or VRE.
continues to do well, he
said, because he
was fit and healthy before his
"That's the aspect about trauma care that becomes both rewarding and challenging, getting everybody coordinate to have him or her
do their part in helping somebody that is critically injured like Mr. Dillard