Trauma Team Gets Nana Back on Her Feet

November 2nd, 2021

“Nana, come play with me.” Those are the words Elizabeth Nyce loves to hear from her first great-grandchild, 3-year-old Lachlan. An active 88-year-old, Elizabeth made the short trip from her Harleysville home to her granddaughter’s house in Spring Mount every Friday to play with Lachlan while his mom worked from home.

Elizabeth figured the morning of June 18 would be another fun Friday with her great-grandson. But shortly after she arrived at her granddaughter’s home, she tripped on a rug on the back patio. “I didn’t hit my head, but I felt something in my leg,” Elizabeth says. “I didn’t feel much pain, but I couldn’t get myself back up.”

Her granddaughter came running onto the patio to help. She picked up Elizabeth and sat her in a chair. Shortly thereafter, the family called Elizabeth’s husband, Arlen, who recommended they call 911. Skippack EMS arrived and transported Elizabeth to Grand View Hospital, which became an accredited Level II Adult Trauma Center on Sept. 1, 2021.

“I had never been in an ambulance, never been to an Emergency Room,” Elizabeth says.

At Grand View Hospital, a specially trained trauma team—including trauma surgeons Forrest Fernandez, MD and David Scaff, DO, and orthopaedic surgeon James Hurley, MD—evaluated Elizabeth. “They said at my age, they had to check everything—my head and my neck and my legs,” Elizabeth says.

An initial CT scan showed that Elizabeth had suffered a fractured pelvis. She didn’t need surgery. But she did need immediate care to stop the bleeding, which she received in the hospital’s interventional radiology suite.

Next, Elizabeth needed to heal from her pelvic fracture and regain her strength. She spent five days on the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit under close watch from the trauma team. Then she was transferred to the hospital’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU), which includes 14 private patient rooms and caregivers skilled in helping people recover from serious injury.

“Every day, they helped me do a little bit more to get my left leg stronger,” says Elizabeth, who underwent physical and occupational therapy three times a day and eventually grew strong enough to walk with a walker.

She returned home just in time for a July 4 weekend family celebration. Lachlan ran into her arms and gave her a big hug underneath a banner that read “Welcome home, Nana!” “It was a gorgeous day,” Elizabeth says.

Now, Elizabeth is back to doing the things she loves, including cooking and spending time with her four children, six grandchildren and, of course, Lachlan. And she has nothing but praise for the team at Grand View Health, the same hospital where all four of her children were born. “Boy did they take care of me,” she says. “Everything worked out just fine, and I feel very fortunate.”

Learn more about our Level II Trauma Center.