Texas doctor rows in canoe to get to ailing patient

The surgeon uses a canoe to get to a teen who needed an operation right away.

Texas flood waters could not keep a dedicated doctor away from his patient, and he arrived in time to save the teen from permanent organ damage.

Pediatric surgeon Stephen Kimmel of Dickinson, Texas, got a call early Saturday that Jacob Terrazas, 16, was suffering from a painful condition that required surgery right away. Kimmel got into his car and headed to the hospital, even though his own house was beginning to flood.

Kimmel, however, had to turn back because of high water. Two volunteer firefighters, however, were able to reach him, and they had a truck with a canoe in the back.

The three drove down Interstate 45 until it was impassable, then paddled in the dark until the water was calm enough for Kimmel to wade the rest of the way to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, almost a mile in waist-deep water.

The Terrazas also had to struggle to get to the hospital. They were forced to wait in the rain until I-45 until an fire department ambulance was able to reach them.Terrazas also had to struggle to get to the hospital. They were forced to wait in the rain until I-45 until an fire department ambulance was able to reach them.

Knowing Kimmel was on the way, hospital staff prepped Terrazas for surgery, and once the doctor arrived, he switched from his wet clothes to hospital scrubs.

The one-hour surgery was successful, and Terrazas suffered no permanent organ damage. He was released from the hospital two days later.

 

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