It was Memorial Day, and 28-year-old Grant Pittman was driving home. A truck coming the other direction crossed over the center line and hit Grant head-on. Grant suffered multiple fractures and a large head laceration.
“I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt,” Grant recalled. “I was driving–thank God there wasn’t anyone else in the car–but when the car hit, I was actually transferred into the passenger seat.
First responders had to extract Grant from his vehicle using the jaws of life. An ambulance transported him to Inland Valley Medical Center. There, he underwent two surgeries to address his injuries. This included the placement of a metallic plate and threaded screws in his right leg.
“When the ambulance picked me up, I had no reaction of what actually happened in the accident,” Grant shared. “I had glimpses of waking up inside the ambulance and pretty much going in and out and not realizing exactly what had happened.”
Because of the head laceration, Grant lost a lot of blood, affecting his consciousness. “I was just in so much pain, just going in and out, so when I finally came to, they had told me my injuries a little bit. I found out I had a broken femur, which the surgeon said in his 25 years of being a surgeon, was the worst one he’s ever seen in his whole entire surgery career. He said it was pretty much putting Humpty Dumpty back together, is what he told me. So, after the femur, it was my three ribs, and then on my back, it was my T2, and yeah, everything was very, very, very painful.”
After a couple of weeks, Grant began to heal. But he knew he needed more help to return to his independent lifestyle. “Probably the first week I was in there, I already knew I needed to go to rehab,” he recalled. “There was no way that I was gonna be able to recover on my own at this point. I couldn’t do anything. Very weird from going very active every day, to not being able to move and not being able to use the restroom.”
Grant chose Ballard Rehabilitation Hospital to help him on that journey. He arrived at Ballard needing maximal assistance with all lower body movement. From that first day, Grant’s care team got right to work on his intensive rehabilitation. Physical therapy worked on reducing scar tissue and loosing up his lower extremity to increase Grant’s ability to bend his knee. Occupational therapy worked with Grant on his activities of daily living.
With his inpatient stay complete, Grant discharged independent with an assistive device. He received a brace for his right leg that can be adjusted as his ability to bend his knee increases.
Grant knows he’s fortunate to survive such a serious accident. And he has some important advice to share.
“I wanna help other young people. Wear your seatbelt. This could’ve been so much less, you know, if I would’ve been smart and worn a seatbelt.”