St. Mary's Health Center ER Whirlwind

1 decade 2 years 2 months ago Wednesday, April 05 2006 Apr 5, 2006 Wednesday, April 05, 2006 4:31:09 PM CDT April 05, 2006 in News

A twister is his sign on the ER board because he's always spinning during his rotations.

Simms married his high school sweetheart, graduated with honors from medical school, had two children and bought a new house. He was living the American dream, until one day.

"It was a bright, sunny, August afternoon," Simms recalled. "We had just signed the papers on our new house and I was on my way to work. Someone pulled out in front of me."

Simms rolled his truck eight times, breaking his neck.

"I was knocked out briefly and, the next thing I remember, was hanging upside down in my vehicle and I knew at that point I was a quadriplegic," he recalled.

"I decided I had spent so long training to do what I do and I love what I do. I'm passionate about this job and I decided I would try it," he went on.

"Of course, a lot of people were uncertain about having a quadriplegic emergency physician. To my knowledge, it's never been done," Simms admitted.

In fact, Dr. Simms may be the only quadriplegic ER physician in the world.

"I think patients are a little taken aback when the emergency physician comes in in a wheelchair," said Simms. "It's funny. I've had patients, my favorite comment is, 'You look worse than I do.'"

He explained, "What you see is the chair. That's only part of it. I live with pain everyday. But, it has given me a perspective about what it's like to be on the other side of the stretcher, to live with pain everyday."

Physician's assistant Jen Chapman said, "He makes life seem effortless, but it's really not. Some days, I know he struggles just to even sit upright and he never complains."

Chapman takes care of any movements for Simms that require hand dexterity.

"She's phenomenal," he said.

"You can't be empathetic until you've been in somebody else's shoes," said Chapman, "and he's been there."

Two years ago, Simms' employment took another turn when a golden retriever named Robbie joined the team.

"Now, when patients see me, they don't see the wheelchair," Simms explained. "They're immediately drawn to Robbie and he's the focus. He's the icebreaker."

Simms added, "Life is about attitude. Everyone has their own set of challenges. Quadriplegia just happens to be mine."

But, this funnel cloud of a physician surrounds his patients with gale force emergency care.

"People can see me and realize you can do whatever you want to do," he said.

Although Dr. Simms has some use of his arms, he's technically diagnosed as a quadriplegic.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday. Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has faced big challenges in recent years - from changes in administration to loss of state funding... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 1:43:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department has canceled an Amber Alert for Brajean Sledge, a missing 15-year-old girl... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 10:29:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed his first five bills as Missouri's governor Friday. The bills he signed... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
6am 65°
7am 66°
8am 69°
9am 70°