In April of 2012, Michael McFarland was involved in a horrific car accident. His car was caught in the guardrail, and the guardrail slid through the floorboard of his car, pinning Michael into his vehicle. Michael was a young professional, newly out of the Marine Corps, now in a horrible state.
Michael was rushed to Huntsville Hospital where Dr. Leberte met him in the ER, ready to take on Michael’s injuries as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon. Michael knew the state of his leg was terrible, but really didn’t understand how grim until sometime later. Dr. Leberte operated on Michael a few short hours later, and his operations continued every other day for some time. He performed a total of 8 operations to save Michael’s leg. Michael says that, from the beginning, “Dr. Leberte had excellent bedside manner and was very positive.” Over the course of treatment and recovery, Dr. Leberte told Michael that the situation was grim. Not only was his leg in complete jeopardy of being saved, but once he was on the mend, he would have to learn to walk again.
“He didn’t let me get defeated – he helped me climb my way back up.”
As you can imagine, the long recovery was both physically and emotionally taxing. “God, my grit, determination, faith, Dr. Leberte, and my family, friends, and support system pushing me to move forward truly saved my leg. From that day until today, Dr. Leberte and I are connected on a personal level.” Michael went on to say he had many setbacks, physically and emotionally, but Dr. Leberte was with him every step of the way.
“I can walk now. I look at him, and along this path, I have acquired a friend. I feel like we have been through this together and feel a strong connection with him. He is real with me. He is honest with me. He has my back, and I have his back. I know as long as I need him, he will be with me every step of the way.”
Michael is now married with 2 kids and sees the world in a whole new light. To be honest, visiting with him was refreshing. I found someone who appreciates God winks and finds purpose in hard knocks as much as I do. The 45-minute to hour-long phone call brightened my day and gave me an even greater appreciation of the role our providers play – they have the ability to truly change someone’s life, and we have an entire network of folks who are truly grateful for what they are doing.
by Leah Beth McNutt
Dr. Leberte is a member of The Orthopaedic Center Trauma Team. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery. He provides expert care for patients with simple to severe musculoskeletal injuries and related complications such as hip and knee problems. Dr. Leberte offers advanced surgical procedures to preserve function and relieve pain in young and elderly patients. In addition to fracture care, Dr. Leberte provides general orthopaedic surgical care including joint replacement surgery.