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Sometimes when unfortunate things happen, something good will come of it. This was the case when Ron Wagner took a terrible fall from a ladder in December 2017. The fall crushed his right tibia and fractured his left femur. Fellowship-trained adult reconstruction surgeon Dr. Ryan Sullivan performed an open reduction internal fixation for Ron’s right tibia plateau fracture and an intramedullary nail fixation for his left femoral shaft fracture.
To complicate things, Ron had been undergoing treatment for kidney cancer, and the cancer had metastasized to his left femur, causing issues with his recovery. Dr. Sullivan worked closely with Ron’s oncology physicians at The University of Chicago to make sure he had all the necessary information to properly care for Ron. A third surgery was scheduled for December 2018 to replace Ron’s right knee.
It has been a long year of medical issues and setbacks for Ron, but both Ron and his wife Jeanette say that Dr. Sullivan was amazing through it all.
“He is very personable and he explained everything so well; we knew we were in excellent hands,” says Ron. “Dr. Sullivan would personally call me to see how I was doing.” He adds, “How many doctors today do that?”
But it’s what happened next that really touched both Ron and Jeanette. Dr. Sullivan knew that Ron’s birthday was coming up, and it had been such a long road for his patient that he wanted to do something for him.
“We got to know each other over the past 18 months of appointments, and I knew that Ron and Jeannette were Chicago Bears and Game of Thrones fans, so I had a special T-shirt made for him,” says Dr. Sullivan.
Dr. Sullivan sent the shirt to Ron, along with a birthday card. “It was over and above,” Ron says. “He is a great doctor!”
In the picture, Jeanette is wearing the shirt that Dr. Sullivan gave Ron. “I’m more of a Game of Thrones fan than Ron is, and it looks better on me, so I get to wear it too,” says Jeanette.
Although the fall was a terrible one, a wonderful doctor-patient friendship was developed that will continue long past Ron’s medical treatment.
To learn more about the services Dr. Sullivan provides or to schedule an appointment, please call (815) 928-8050 or request an appointment online.