Miracle Moments Miracle Moments In Work Life


NTHONY DARBONNE CAN WRAP BOTH ARMS around his children, thanks to the miraculous work of two talented surgeons at CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System. In 2002 Anthony’s left arm was completely severed in a work accident, then successfully reattached in an unusual 10-hour surgery.

Holly Casey, M.D., and Simeon Wall Jr., M.D., performed the microsurgery on the 37-year-old father of five from Arnaudville, La. He was working in an oil field when his clothing became entangled in a power-takeoff mechanism. His arm was severed between the shoulder and elbow. A quick-thinking co-worker placed it in a bag of ice.

“He’s a very lucky man,” says Dr. Casey. “They did exactly what they needed to do to preserve his arm. In many cases, replantation surgery cannot even be attempted because the severed limb is not preserved.”

Anthony was airlifted to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and later transferred to CHRISTUS Schumpert for the complicated surgical procedure, which included reattachment of nerves, arteries, veins, muscles and tendons, as well as repairing broken bone. It was only the second time in memory that a severed limb had been reattached in Shreveport.

Thanks to the miraculous surgery, Anthony has been able to regain some function in his arm, though he will have to undergo extensive therapy and likely will never regain full function, according to Dr. Casey. About six months after the surgery, a second miracle occurred when he began to be able to move his fingers and feel the touch of his children’s tiny hands.

Sally Croom
public relations director
CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System