| Clearwater firefighter takes life a step at a time From Spotlight on Health - Winter 2011
“Daddy, do you know you were hit by a car?”
Five-year-old Avery Broich asked her father, Cory, that question many times after an accident shattered Cory’s legs.
Jan. 26, 2010, began like many other days for Cory, a five-year veteran volunteer firefighter from Clearwater. He was awakened at 6:30 a.m. by a page to respond to a routine car fire on I-94. Kissing his wife, Abby, goodbye, Cory headed to Clearwater Fire and Rescue
to load up the truck.
Cory and Abby Broich, along with their five children, enjoy their Clearwater home that was remodeled by fellow firefighters following Cory’s
accident in January 2010.
Forty-seven minutes after he was paged, the fire was out and Cory was unhooking the fire hose from the truck parked along the freeway, when a car sped toward him, the driver oblivious to the fire trucks’ flashing lights until it was too late.
Cory, 28, was flown to St. Cloud Hospital’s Emergency Trauma Center, where Mitch Kuhl, DO, a trauma surgeon with St. Cloud Orthopedics, would work for the next five hours to put Cory’s legs back together. Two rods, a plate and multiple screws later, Dr. Kuhl was able to recreate the length of leg and alignment. Kuhl, who is fellowship-trained in orthopedic trauma, said Cory’s was the worst case he had seen.
“His injuries were at high risk for amputation. The severe vascular injury to the left leg made survival of the leg questionable,” Kuhl said.
After an initial three-week stay at St. Cloud Hospital, Cory had several more surgeries, the most recent in September. The Broichs are thankful for the support of their friends and family as well as Dr. Kuhl’s care.
“Everyone at St. Cloud Hospital was great, from the doctors, to the nurses and staff,” Abby said. “The fact that Cory is walking again is unbelievable. He has a great support system and the way his family and friends have rallied around him is really impressive,” Kuhl said.
Cory now takes life one day at a time and is planning the honeymoon that he and Abby never took. Looking around his Clearwater home at his wife and five children, Cory said, “Slow down, you never know what life will bring. Things can change in a heartbeat.”