Matt Puro

Patient grateful for Sanford trauma team and you

November 26, 2018

This past year, generous donors to the Sanford Health Foundation have made a real difference in the lives of patients, including avid bicyclist Matt Puro.

For the last 13 summers, Puro would ride 18 to 20 miles almost daily on the Paul Bunyan State Trail near his home in Bemidji, Minn. One fateful day in June, a hard brake projected him over the handlebars and onto the concrete path.

“He came into the emergency room with pretty significant trauma head to toe,” said LynMaree Harris, the trauma program manager and coordinator for Sanford Health in Northern Minnesota.

Because Puro urgently needed advanced trauma care only available at Sanford Medical Center Fargo, Sanford AirMed transferred him 125 miles to Fargo.

The trauma center team came together swiftly to assess all his injuries, including potential brain injury and fractures in his face, back and left shoulder. A week later, he had surgery to alleviate spinal cord compression.

“I couldn’t list all of the people who were working on me and I’m so grateful for each of them,” Puro told us.

A diverse team of experts never left Puro’s side for the first two weeks. Once he was strong enough to go home, Sanford specialists met with him regularly to keep him on track for a full recovery.

It wasn’t easy though. For the rest of the summer and into the fall, he put everything in his life on hold. Puro couldn’t ride his bike or even go to work because a body brace limited how much he could move. For four months, he had to slow down and allow his body to heal.

In spite of the inconceivable hardship, Puro is feeling good today. He returned to work in October and looks forward to the upcoming holidays.

“Every day I feel grateful for the people in Fargo and Bemidji,” he said.

Life could be so different for Puro, but thanks to generous support for Sanford Health Fargo, Puro plans to ride his bike again next year.

Generous donors give patients like Puro hope and healing, and sometimes even a second chance at life.

As the new year approaches and more people will need emergency care, please renew your support and help keep Sanford on the leading edge. A gift today will help provide state-of-the-art equipment, specialized services and advanced training to save the lives of patients like Puro at a moment’s notice.