Titanium Rib Plates Save Life of Blackfoot Woman

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Titanium Rib Plates Save Life of Blackfoot Woman

A woman in Blackfoot is saying a surgeon at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello along with some help from up above saved her life.  It’s all thanks to a new procedure that has never been done in Idaho before.

“I remember telling myself not to move because I knew I was hurt.  She just bucked me off and after I was on the ground,” said Cheryl Simper, who received titanium ribs after a horse riding accident.

Cheryl Simper doesn’t remember much of September 28th.  What she does remember was that she was breaking in a colt on her farm in Blackfoot.

“I don’t know what she did but for whatever reason she decided to buck but I wasn’t prepared.  She gave me no warning, just did it,” said Simper.

Cheryl says after she was bucked to the ground the colt stepped on her crushing her right rib cage completely and most of her left rib cage.  She says without surgery she wouldn’t be alive.

“Modern technology is wonderful and if they wouldn’t have had the knowledge that they had with these plates I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Simper.

Doctor Kurt Birkenhagen at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello performed the new rib plating surgery that he says saved Cheryl’s life.

“This new technology came out where they have titanium plates that are flexible.  And the difference is that patients don’t end up with a rigid chest.  The other advantage of these new plates is that the screws are locking screws so they don’t back out,” said Dr. Birkenhagen, PMC general trauma surgeon.

“It just feels a little heavy but they expand when I breathe and I really haven’t had a lot of pain,” said Simper.

Cheryl says she’s healing each day by walking around her farm twice a day, taking care of her horses and enjoying time with her family.

“It was a wake up call.  Our life can go in just an instant and we just never know.  I’m just blessed and thankful to be here.  Thankful I have more opportunity to enjoy my grandkids and my family and get back on my horses next year,” said Simper.

Simper says this accident was just a fluke and it doesn’t change her love of horses.  She does plan on riding horses again in the spring but she did promise her family she wouldn’t be riding any colts.

Source: Local News 8

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