Dear Dr. Stetson, It has been a journey back to good health and to experience the joy of life since September 3, 2002. As you know, I am a very fortunate 57 year old guy who loves to watch and participate in sports. A series of events has enabled us to become friends, first because you became my trusted doctor. Of course there were prerequisites for this to happen. Living as a kid in a 57 year old body is a start. I love activity and sports, but things happen along the way. First, there was a shoulder injury from high school football that was never treated. I was a macho kid who did not have the sense to know when I was hurt, so I let it go for years, aggravating the injury playing football, baseball, tennis, and ski falls.
In September 2002, I was involved in a horrific automobile accident on the freeway as I was plowed by an 18 wheeler on the 2 Freeway. The truck was traveling 55 miles an hour as I was moving 5 miles per hour. At the point of impact, I was knocked unconscious and was pushed 400 feet in a ball of flames crashing into 5 other cars. A passing motorist woke me up and saved my life. The car exploded seconds after my escape from the wreckage. As the picture tells the story, one can see why I feel so lucky to be alive and want to continue to live and love my family with my passion for sports activities included. Especially the fact I sustained only a concussion, 6 stitches in the back of my head, black and blue bruises covered my arms, legs, back, and chest including an awfully sore right hip. That’s when I met you….a referral from Dr. Edmund Lew. You gave me cortisone shot to alleviate the inflammation in my hip. At the time I was so impressed with your professionalism. Little did I know I would be seeing you within 6 months as a result of another injury? Feeling rather invincible after my new lease on life, on March 9, 2003, I was skiing Mammoth in the snowboard park with the brats. I shattered my right femur in 6 places as I biffed on the side of a jump hitting solid ice. Again, I was very fortunate to be in good hands as Dr. Steven Banner operated and inserted a titanium rod in the shaft of my femur at the hospital in Mammoth. Returning home, it was you Dr. Stetson who came to my need as you were my doctor who treated and rehabbed my leg for months to come. It took many months of hard work as your team encouraged me to continue to never give up my passion to ski and get back to the sports I love. The next ski season I was back on the slopes! The leg was not quite as strong as I wanted and believed it to be. I had problems in the steeps not able to hold an edge turning right as I could not initiate the proper angle and pressure needed. My left ski just did not bite as it used to. The alignment of my left leg was also slightly tweaked to the outside making it even more difficult to set an inside edge. As a result, not able to complete a turn, I fell backwards, doing a number on my right shoulder. Actually, this was the finish of my shoulder, an accumulated history of athletic abuse tearing the 4 rotator cuffs. Back to you, Dr. Stetson, my trusted sports medicine man! On June 1, 2004, you repaired my shoulder, something I should have done many years earlier. But, of course I am glad I waited. Your skills and improved technique certainly worked in my favor. Record snowfall in 2006! Not quite the edge control I used to have in the avalanche chutes and steeps? Probably not, but I was not thinking that in February 2006. I took a slider and my shoulder chose to stay planted on the slope as the rest of my body went for a ride, meaning I ripped my labium and rear rotator cuff again. I know because I have the video featuring Dr. Stetson’s surgical repair dated July 13, 2006. Matter a fact, as you know, these surgeries inspired our mutual friend, Andy Aitken and me to record a spoof UCLA medical training video posing as doctors. We had so much fun! I am really committed not to get injured again. The timing gets too complicated. There is work, harassment from friends, not being able to drive my manual transmission car, other sports, sleeping with a sling, and the list goes on. Not to leave out pain and suffering. I have zero tolerance for ski falls! My right shoulder and left leg are strong once again, thanks to you Dr. Stetson. You have become my friend. Professionally I will recommend you to everyone I come across who is in need of orthopedic care. Especially to people who have the passion to return to the activities and sports they truly love. You are the best and I thank you for your care. Best regards, John Jacobsen