Even though Myra Archer Holland broke her sacrum, leg, ribs, and pelvis (in multiple places) – fractured her ankles and feet – and also tore her meniscus in both knees, damaged tendons in her hips, had a facial hematoma, head injuries, and a lot of soft tissue damage – she still says “I was extremely lucky.”
Indeed, it could have been much worse. “I was in a freak UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) accident in August of 2022,” explains Myra. “The vehicle I was in tipped sideways in a field, and much of my body was twisted and trapped underneath. I briefly passed out, and when I woke up I had searing pain from the hips down. Luckily, one of my companions had done medic training in the army and he was able to move me from the field without damaging my spine. I could wiggle my toes, which provided me with hope I would not be paralyzed. But I knew it was serious. They called 9-1-1 and I was taken to the FHN ER, where imaging tests identified my long list of injuries.”
Myra stayed in the hospital for 16 days, and was almost completely bedridden. Miraculously, she did not need surgery. She credits Andrew Blint, MD* and George Lester, APRN, FNP-BC, RNFA* from FHN Orthopaedics, along with the nurses at FHN Memorial Hospital, for keeping her sane during this challenging time. “They were all incredible. So sweet and reassuring – they really saved my mental state when I found out it would probably take a year to get back to full activity. Along with the great therapists in rehab, they put together a plan to keep me focused on the future instead of my trauma.”
This energetic woman was determined to regain her strength and get back to some semblance of normal. As a busy mom and business owner, she needed her mobility. Myra shares, “I run my own cleaning business and have four children ages 2, 5, 7, and 9. Our life was hectic before, and with me barely able to move, it was rough. My husband, Josh, took off work, and he had a big challenge to keep things going. I don’t know what I would have done without his help, my faith in God, all the assistance and prayers I received from friends and family, and the expert care from the FHN Rehabilitation Team.”
Myra actually looked forward to her therapy. “It became a sort of lifeline for me – a time to get out of the house and see improvement,” she says. “My physical therapist, Maddie Pickard, DPT, and physical therapist assistant, Ali Wilken, have been so good, focusing on what I need at each stage. I remember the thrill of being able to do leg lifts and bend my knees to the ground for the first time. In December of 2022, I got to the point where I could see significant progress. Now I am back to work housecleaning, though I can’t do a full day yet. My knees feel stable, and I am optimistic!”
It didn’t happen right away, but Myra also was plagued with vestibular (inner ear) problems as a result of her accident. “I got so dizzy and nauseated when I stood up or laid down, and it was really discouraging after all I had been through. I was scared that something was wrong from my head injuries, but luckily, Dr. Reese (her FHN primary care provider), along with the Ear, Nose, and Throat and Audiology staff, diagnosed me quickly and said physical therapy could likely help this condition, too. They sent me to DeeAnn Heinrich, PT, and she has worked with me ever since. Her exercises and special head maneuvers are helping me regain my stability.”
With hard work and the help of her FHN Rehabilitation Team, Myra has made tremendous progress.