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Emergency care at an East Vancouver skate park

On September 20, 2016, Vancouver photographer Kitt Woodland suffered a bi-condylar tibial plateau fracture – a small break to her lower leg just below her knee. She was skateboarding at Hastings Skate Park, despite being a bit out of practice.
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​“Although I used to be quite capable on four wheels, I hesitated half way into my line,” she says. “You should never hesitate. I should have just taken the fall - or not been on a board in the first place!”

Kitt doesn’t remember instant agony, but will never forget the loud "POP!" she heard. “I wasn’t visible by anyone else at the park, so I hoped the ache would subside enough to let me walk out with a bit of my pride,” she remembers. “But the adrenaline was fading and the pain was setting in. I yelled up to a friend who, thankfully, was a search and rescue volunteer. Trained to deal with a situation like mine, he completely ignored my pleading not to call the paramedics - that maybe it's just a bad sprain.” 

While waiting for the ambulance, two staff from the PNE, along with Kitt’s friend, kept her company. “They helped keep me distracted, calm and somewhat comfortable.” 

When the paramedics arrived, Kitt was admittedly a little drowsy. “By then I was pretty out of it, so I don't quite recall who was there doing what, but I do remember paramedics Shannon and Sean. They were straight forward and professional, yet empathetic. They were as gentle as possible, given my knee had to be moved in ways it didn't want to be.” 

Kitt was rushed to St. Paul’s Hospital, and she remembers everything sinking in while waiting to see the doctor – the pain, emotions, reality. “Sean made a point of coming back to my waiting room to check in on me,” she recalls. “I appreciated that so very much.” 
Kitt was booked in for surgery the following day and spent the next few days recovering in hospital. “It’s been almost six months since surgery and I am cane-free as of early March,” she tells us. “It's been a tough go and is still impacting my life more than I imagined it could - physically, creatively, emotionally, financially. But I'm celebrating the small victories that each week brings. The next battle is walking down stairs!”
Kitt sent in her note of gratitude to BC Emergency Health Services because, she says, “BCEHS are too often underappreciated. Thanks to everyone involved in my little story. And please, pass along a special thank you to Shannon and Sean for putting up with me. What a handful I must have been!”

Please contact BCEHS Communications if you would like to recognize a BCEHS staff member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help you or someone you care about.

BCEHS; BC Ambulance Service; local heroes; patient care
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