When a CT scan showed a Tennessee teen's pancreas split in half following a "freak" accident as school -- her mother said it was the worst feeling in the world.
Everyone was concerned about a head injury when Macie Glover, a 13-year-old freshman, sprinted across the gym, tripped and crashed into a wall at Lawrence County High School back in March.
Macie hit her head after the "bizarre" sequence of events which propelled her whole body arching backward into a crescent shape.
“I hit the ground. I couldn’t breathe. Whenever people asked what was hurting me, I said it was my stomach and my elbow," Macie said.
The teen was transported to a local hospital were CT scans of her head were clear.
But hours later, Macie still had pain in her abdomen, which prompted a CT scan of her stomach.
The results: Macie's pancreas was split in half.
The freshman was taken via LifeFlight to Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
"When that helicopter lifted and they took off with her, that was the worst feeling of my life,” Annette Glover, Macie's mom, said. “From a past experience, we knew they would do everything they could for her.”
When Macie arrived at the hospital in Nashville, doctors said time was already counting down.
“The clock was ticking. Her pancreas was completely torn in half,” Dai Chung, M.D., director of Pediatric Trauma said. “It was getting close to 24 hours (post injury), a time when things can get unsettling, with a lot of edema and inflammation, and her internal organs start reacting."
Chung said operating on a pancreas within 24 hours is crucial.
"It becomes more difficult by the hour, to a point where you run out of operative options,” Chung said.
Macie, with her arm newly casted from the accident, was ready for surgery.
“Knowing she had plenty of pancreas left, we made the decision to resect the distal part of the pancreas while avoiding any injury to the spleen. It requires very carefully teasing off of the blood vessels, and tying them off,” Chung said.
After surgery, Macie's parents were getting details on just how bad the injury was.
“We knew Macie was in bad shape when she went in, but the extent of her injury was unbelievable," Annete Glover said. "To see she wasn’t in any pain was amazing because she had hurt so badly.”
Macie returned home about a week after surgery and has since joined the high school basketball and softball teams.
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