Follow-Up Friday: Triathlete who was struck by a car returns to compete

On Follow-Up Friday, we revisit one of our memorable patient stories previously featured on Memorial Hermann’s EverydayWell Blog and share an update on their road to recovery.

Cheyenne Meyer doesn’t let anyone tell her she can’t.

Her steely-eyed determination and unwavering intensity helped her get through the tough days after her accident in August 2016, when a car struck her during her final training ride before a big championship triathlon and shattered her body.

She tapped in to that inner strength during the difficult recovery that followed, when Meyer had to re-learn the basics, like getting dressed and taking a shower.

But she never gave up hope that she would one day race again.

In April, she did just that: crossing the finish line as second place overall female in The Texas State Sprint Triathlon. A month later, she placed first overall female in the Springs Back Olympic Distance Triathlon in Fulshear.

“I’m back to running, swimming and biking just like I did before the accident, and the only real thing that has changed about me is that I have some scars now,” she said. “Life has changed a lot in this past year, but honestly, I’m so fortunate for the love, support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this entire journey.”

Photo by Aaron Palaian

It was only a year ago that Meyer arrived at Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute aboard a Memorial Hermann Life Flight® helicopter, with no memory of what had happened to her. Her pelvis was broken in seven places, her left hip was shattered, her left leg was dislocated, her sacrum, sternum, two ribs and left shoulder were fractured and she was bleeding internally.

Dr. Milton “Chip” Routt, an orthopedic trauma surgeon affiliated with the Red Duke Trauma Institute and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, sprang into action to rebuild Meyer’s pelvis with an extensive, six-and-a-half hour surgery. She would end up spending a total of eight days at the Red Duke Trauma Institute, and then two weeks in a rehabilitation facility, but Dr. Routt’s expertise allowed her to recover from her devastating injuries and begin training again.

In August, on the first anniversary of her surgery, Meyer returned to Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute to thank Dr. Routt for giving her back the life she had before the accident.

“I just wanted to thank him and the rest of the care team from the bottom of my heart for what they did for me,” she said. “Looking back on it, I can’t believe how intense all my medical issues were, and yet, they were able to reverse all of it and put me back together again.”

She also has some words of advice for others struggling to recover from their own tragedies.

“Be patient and keep trying,” she said. “Don’t give up. And don’t take anything in your life for granted. Take the time to count your blessings each day.”

Click here to read Meyer’s full story.

Learn more about orthopedic trauma services here.

Comments

  1. Dr. Routt is awesome and put my brother-in-law Joel Stefanski back together after a 20 ft. fall strapped to a pole that broke off. My brother-in-law was medivaced from Alaska to Seattle where Dr. Routt was at Harborview Medical Center and with the help of Dr. Tran an amazing vascular surgeon there, they saved his life! Dr. Routt can put Humpty Dumpty together!! So thankful his expertise!

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