Bassem Mansour doesn’t bear in mind his first keep at UC Davis Well being when he battled most cancers as a child. He does bear in mind the second time, at 15, when he awakened within the Emergency Division listening to an oxygen machine compressing, seeing lights flashing and being unable to really feel his legs.

Earlier within the day he had gone on a motorbike journey close to his dwelling in El Dorado Hills to have fun getting an A on his geometry take a look at. As he turned a nook, a pickup truck towing a ship sideswiped him and dragged him like a rag doll for 50 toes.

“It felt just like the truck appeared out of nowhere. I had no time to course of that I used to be at risk,” Mansour mentioned. “The following factor I bear in mind was a paramedic kneeling beside me asking for my identify and tackle.”

Mansour was airlifted to UC Davis Well being’s Division of Emergency Drugs, the realm’s solely degree I trauma middle.

9 surgical procedures and counting

Mansour had suffered 14 fractures, misplaced a lot of the pores and skin on his decrease physique, and his left leg was almost severed.

Bassem Mansour sitting in red wheelchair with mom and dad hugging his shoulders
Bassem Mansour together with his mom, Sylvie Bergeron and father, Yakout Mansour

“My leg was mainly being held on solely by pores and skin, it was actually hanging by a thread,” Mansour recalled.

In whole, Mansour required 9 surgical procedures together with a number of pores and skin grafts, a bone graft and a flap on his left foot. Creation of a flap is a surgical approach through which a piece of wholesome tissue is partly indifferent deliberately, whereas leaving its blood provide intact, and shifted to cowl a wounded space. The procedures had been coordinated and carried out by Philip R. Wolinsky, professor of orthopaedic trauma; Robert Allen, professor of orthopaedic surgical procedure; Claire Manske, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgical procedure; and Brian Haus, chief of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgical procedure.

“All the surgeons have been wonderful and so open to all of my questions,” he mentioned. “They’ve at all times been sincere about what they had been going to do in the course of the procedures, what my restoration was going to seem like and the way painful it might be. They by no means tried to melt the blow and sugarcoat issues. I felt very knowledgeable.”

Mansour nonetheless has little feeling in his legs, however with a number of surgical procedures nonetheless forward and a whole lot of bodily remedy he hopes to have the ability to stroll once more.

“I can already stroll a bit with a specialised walker,” he mentioned. “I do know I nonetheless have a whole lot of rehab work, however I am decided to get again on my toes.”

A house away from dwelling

Mansour was solely 6 months outdated when he was first hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Heart to start remedy for a neuroblastoma the dimensions of an orange rising close to his backbone. Throughout his remedy, he underwent intensive chemotherapy to shrink the neuroblastoma sufficiently to allow it to be eliminated surgically.

“The care Bassem acquired as a child and as a young person from the pediatric nurses and employees was high notch,” recalled Sylvie Bergeron, Mansour’s mom.

Among the many nurses who supplied care to Mansour was Jana Poeling, who was one in every of his main nurses when he was a child in addition to when he was a young person following his accident.

“It virtually felt like I had a second mother caring for me after I was in hospital,” joked Mansour. “It was so reassuring having somebody I knew and trusted there with me. I couldn’t have requested for higher care.”

I’ll always remember the help I acquired, which went far past my medical care.” Bassem Mansour

Caring for the entire individual

One of many challenges Mansour confronted throughout his second keep at UC Davis Well being was managing the advanced emotions and feelings he felt following his accident.

“At instances I felt like I used to be being punished for one thing I had achieved,” Mansour remembered. “I might sit there and simply suppose ‘what did I do to deserve this?’”  

Yakout Mansour, his father, mentioned that supporting Bassem’s psychological well being was the most important distinction between his hospital keep as a child and as a young person.

“As a child, Bassem was not conscious of the state of affairs,” he mentioned. “Nevertheless, after the accident he was affected by a whole lot of PTSD [Post traumatic stress disorder]. The UC Davis docs, nurses and employees had been unbelievable, offering care not only for his bodily well-being but additionally his emotional well-being.”

Throughout his nine-week hospitalization, UC Davis Well being psychology specialists from the Division of Ache Drugs labored carefully with Mansour to familiarize him with sources to work by means of the trauma he skilled.

“It was nice to have their crew present such a care along with treating his bodily ache,” mentioned Yakout Mansour. “They actually supplied him holistic care.”

Bassem Mansour sitting on monoski on a mountain covered in snow
Bassem Mansour has liked to ski since he was simply 3 years outdated.

Mansour additionally acquired help from UC Davis Well being’s little one life specialists, who work to reduce the nervousness of hospitalization for younger sufferers. Following one in every of his 9 surgical procedures, the crew embellished his hospital room with a Star Wars design bedspread, curtains and different gadgets.

“After having a Star Wars themed room, a whole lot of residents and nurses would cease by my room to speak in regards to the newest Star Wars film,” mentioned Mansour. “It was nice with the ability to join with them about one thing aside from my surgical procedures or rehab, since I couldn’t have my mates go to due to COVID-19.”

In appreciation of the Little one Life and Artistic Arts Remedy Program, Mansour and his dad and mom have began the Bassem Mansour Pediatric Trauma Remedy Fund. The objective is to boost cash for this system to assist pediatric sufferers with music and artwork remedy, in addition to different kinds of artistic remedy that can are likely to their thoughts and spirit whereas docs mend their our bodies.

“I’ll always remember the help I acquired, which went far past my medical care,” mentioned Mansour.

Getting again on the slopes

Now a junior at Jesuit Excessive Faculty, Mansour is making the transition again to life as a young person. For now, he will get round campus in his wheelchair, the place he performs within the Jesuit music program as a percussionist with the jazz, symphonic and funk bands.

Mansour nonetheless faces a number of procedures, together with discount of the thickness of the flap graft on his left foot, however he’s attempting to concentrate on having fun with the rest of his time in highschool.

Throughout a latest appointment, his bodily therapist launched him to monoskiing, a type of adaptive snowboarding.

“Snowboarding has at all times been enormous a part of my life — I discovered to ski after I simply 3 years outdated,” Mansour mentioned. “I’ve solely used the monoski a number of instances, however I’m beginning to get the grasp of it. Being again on the slopes provides me a way of normalcy I’ve not felt for the reason that accident, and it actually feels nice.”


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