Heroes in real life: 5 orthopedic and spine surgeons who saved lives outside the OR Featured

Written by  Laura Dyrda | Friday, 10 April 2015 00:00
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Here are five orthopedic surgeons who responded during unexpected tragedies to save lives.

Dr. Michael Shen's hair cut interrupted by hit-and-run

Michael Shen, MD, was getting his hair cut in when he heard a crash, according to a Denver Post report. There had been a hit-and-run accident outside of the building and Dr. Shen rushed to the scene. He saw two victims with severe injuries and was able to attend to them until the paramedics arrived. He also assisted the paramedics to make sure the patients were stable and ready for transport to the hospital. Dr. Shen is a surgeon at Advanced Orthopedic and Sports medicine specialists.


Dr. Andrew Collette was in the right place at the right time

Six months after joining Freeman Health System in Joplin, Mo., orthopedic surgeon Andrew Collette, MD, and a hospital administrator came upon an overturned vehicle on the highway, according to a Columbia Tribune report. With the car engine spewing gasoline, a teenage boy was trying to help pull others from the wreckage. Dr. Collette ran to the vehicle and took over, working with the teenager to pull two people from the wreckage. They were able to rescue both other people from the car.


Dr. John Cowin's medical experience kicks in during Boston Marathon bombing

John Cowin, MD, of Florida musculoskeletal Institute, was among the first people to help the wounded victims of the bombing attack on the Boston Marathon in April 2013. He was at the marathon cheering on his daughter, who was running the race. When the bombs went off, he was one of the first physicians on the scene. He gave one person his belt to wrap around a wounded man's leg to ease the bleeding. Dr. Cowin was no stranger to traumatic injuries, however; he was a military physician previously stationed in the Philippines.


Dr. Richard Wohns performs appendectomy during mountain climbing expedition

Richard Wohns, MD, was the medical director of the Ultima Thule Everest Expedition in 1984 and during that time performed high altitude brain research on Mount Everest. But it was a different expedition to the second highest mountain in the world — K2 — that Dr. Wohns was called on to perform appendectomy on a porter. Dr. Wohns is a neurological surgeon in private practice in the Puget Sound region. He has a special interest in minimally invasive and outpatient spine surgery and has been president of the Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons.


Dr. Sanjay Khurana pulls Harrison Ford from crashed air plane

Earlier this year, Sanjay Khurana, MD, was enjoying an afternoon golf game when an air plane crashed not far away. Along with others, Dr. Khurana rushed to the scene of the accident to help. Dr. Khurana was able to see someone slumped over, but still living, in the wreckage. He pulled the man from the plane and instructed others on how to make sure the fuel didn't combust before the rescue workers arrived. As it turned out, the man he pulled from the plane was movie star and adventure hero, Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford. Mr. Ford recovered from his injuries.

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