By Kathy Walsh
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A father of two from Highlands Ranch is particularly grateful this Thanksgiving for the team at Swedish Medical Center. Randy Kluber suffered a serious leg injury in a motorcycle accident on Thanksgiving last year.
Kluber said recovery has had its ups and downs. He has endured many surgeries and complications, including infections, but he said the staff at Swedish never gave up on him.
“You know, every day, it’s just a little bit better,” Kluber told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Kluber is grateful to be limping along. His last 12 months have been far from a walk in the park.
“It’s been a roller coaster for me,” said Kluber.
On Thanksgiving evening, 2017, Kluber rode away from a family dinner in Evergreen on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was three blocks from his Highlands Ranch home.
“And the next thing I know is I’m hearing a crunch and I’m in the air,” he said.
Kluber was hit by a car and thrown from his bike. The bones in his right leg snapped and had to be reconstructed- twice. And he had a large, open wound.
“Initially, I thought I was going to end up losing this leg,” Kluber said.
“Oh, what a difference a year makes,” Kluber remarked as Dr. Benson Pulikkottil, a plastic micro-vascular surgeon, took a look at Kluber’s leg.
A flap of skin and tissue had been transplanted from Kluber’s thigh to cover the open wound.
“The blood vessels going into this tissue were sewn to his native blood vessels,” explained Pulikkottil.
The husband/wife team of plastic micro-vascular surgeons, Pulikkottil and Dr. Lily Daniali, attached the flap at Swedish.
“They do amazing things here, absolutely amazing,” said Kluber.
In all, he has had 12 surgeries over 12 months. Every day he gives thanks for the doctors and staff who got him back on his feet.