Children’s Hospital has one of busiest trauma programs in the entire country and receives patients from throughout the tri-state region. Zachary’s story is a good example of why families should be reassured they’re in good hands.
Zachary Weight, Age 16
In September 2009, Zachary Weight was riding his dirt bike at his home in Belle Vernon, Pa., when the family’s dog ran out in front of him. To avoid a collision, Zach slammed on the brakes, falling directly onto the handlebars as he was thrown from the vehicle.
Having witnessed the crash, Zach’s father, Dan, rushed to his side. Moments later his mother, Christy, called for an ambulance. Zach was taken directly to the Pediatric Trauma Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where pediatric radiologists determined he severely lacerated his liver, fractured a rib, and lacerated his spleen.
Due to the severity of his injuries and his strained breathing, doctors feared Zach’s body would be unable to handle major surgery. He was sent instead to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for recovery, where he endured abdominal drains to remove the large amount of fluids overwhelming his body. “From the trauma team to the housekeeping staff, everyone was so kind, they truly cared,” says Christy.
For 45 days, Zach underwent continuous testing and treatment including physical and respiratory therapy before he was sent home after a full recovery. Zach has since returned to playing soccer, football, and wrestling for his high school teams.