WEBSTER, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Using a canoe as an emergency medical vehicle, a Clear Lake Regional Medical Center doctor -- with the help of two volunteer firemen -- made his way through treacherous flood waters in the middle of the night to perform surgery on a 16-year-old suffering from a painful condition that if not treated within a short window of time causes permanent damage.
When pediatric general surgeon Dr. Stephen Kimmel got a call early Saturday morning that young Jacob Terrazas was suffering from testicular torsion and needed immediate attention, he jumped in his car and headed toward the hospital even though his own home in Dickinson was beginning to flood.
Kimmel only got so far when he was forced to turn back home due to rising waters. Fortunately, two volunteer firemen were able to reach him in a personal truck that had a canoe in the truck-bed. The trio drove down I-45 until the water was impassible, then unloaded the canoe from the back of the truck and paddled in the dark against heavy currents until the water was calm enough for Dr. Kimmel to walk the last leg of the journey to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, almost a mile in waist-deep water.
Patient Terrazas, his mother Yesenia Terrazas and his sister Brianna also had a harrowing evening getting to the surgery he so badly needed. On their way to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center from Pearland Medical Center, flood waters made it impossible to go further. Because of weather conditions, the Terrazas had to wait in the rain on I-45 until the Webster Fire Department was able to respond and bring them safely via ambulance to the hospital.
"We are so happy to be here," Jacob's mother told the hospital and EMS staff on their arrival. "Jacob was in such pain and was shaking and hardly able to talk when we got here, but everyone here is so helpful. This has been a long night, but this place is wonderful."
Knowing that Dr. Kimmel was on his way, the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center staff prepped Jacob for surgery and assured him and his family that help was on the way. Drenched head to toe when he finally arrived, Dr. Kimmel quickly changed to scrubs so he and his surgical team could get to work and save Jacob's organs from permanent damage.
On his heroic efforts to help Jacob, Dr. Kimmel simply said, "Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes. This young man's life would have been changed for the worse forever if we hadn't been able to perform surgery when we did. In the end, it all turned out very well."
The hour-long surgery was a complete success and Jacob will be discharged less than 48 hours after this long Saturday night that he, his family and the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center staff will long remember.
About Clear Lake Regional Medical Center Clear Lake Regional Medical Center is a full-service hospital offering inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and specialty services. The campus includes Level II Trauma Capabilities, Neuroscience Institute, The Heart & Vascular Hospital, Bariatrics Program, Breast Diagnostic Center, Wound Care Center, a level III Neonatal ICU, the area's only Pediatric Emergency Department and Pediatric ICU, and a comprehensive range of services for patients of all ages. With a medical staff of more than 850, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center employs more than 2,100 medical professionals and has served the community for more than 40 years. For more information, call 281-332-2511 or visit online at www.clearlakermc.com for the latest news and updates, visit our website at http://www.clearlakermc.com or stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter
About HCA Gulf Coast Division HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities. It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas' residents and businesses. HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 19 hospitals, 9 ambulatory centers, 10 off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides one-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius. For more information, visit our website at www.HCAGulfCoast.com.