Sidney's Story

Orthopedics
“It’s a miracle, we are incredibly grateful. She was a trooper and very positive throughout the whole ordeal. She’s nothing short of incredible”

Injury fails to bench Kimball basketball player

“Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll play basketball again.” Those were the words of 14-year-old Sidney Schreiner of Kimball before she was airlifted from an accident. Sidney was riding a side by side utility task vehicle with a friend when it flipped. She was dragged and pinned underneath.

Upon arriving at St. Cloud Hospital, her care team quickly determined that her injuries, thankfully, did not include internal bleeding or head trauma; however, her forearm had been completely degloved — leaving no remaining skin, muscle or tendons. “It was in really bad shape,” recalls Sidney’s dad, Tom.

A series of three surgeries over the next several days were performed by Trauma Surgeon Timothy Hiesterman, MD, St. Cloud Orthopedics, to clean Sidney’s wound. Her fourth surgery by Hand/Wrist Surgeon Christopher Widstrom, MD, St. Cloud Orthopedics, fixed the broken bones.

John Houle, MD, Midsota Plastic Surgeons, performed additional surgeries which included using microvascular techniques to graft skin from Sidney’s thigh to rebuild her arm. Lastly, skin was taken off the back of her thigh to cover the area removed for the graft. A tendon transplant from her uninjured arm helped Sidney improve range of motion and strength allowing her to perform day-to-day life skills.

Through it all, Sidney maintained an amazing attitude. With older sisters who played and parents who coached, basketball has been a part of her life since she could walk. Sidney knew she had to get back on the court.

Twenty-three days after entering the hospital, Sidney was discharged. One of her first stops was the basketball court. With her arm in a sling, she was dribbling behind her back and shooting with her left hand.

Seeing Sidney today, you would never know the extent of her injuries or the fact that she nearly lost her arm. “It’s a miracle, we are incredibly grateful,” said Sidney’s mom, Kelli. “She was a trooper and very positive throughout the whole ordeal. She’s nothing short of incredible.”

“Some of the days were very painful,” said Sidney, referring to the skin graft. As far as the scars on her arm and legs, she says, “I’ve gone through so much that this just can’t bother me anymore.”

Sidney received support from her local community, the first people at the scene, the Watkins rescue squad, the hospital, nurses, doctors and care team, school and her family.

After surviving the incredible experience, Sidney commented about her future, “I’ve always wanted to be a pediatrician. After being with my occupational therapists, it’s made me want to go in to the medical field even more.”

After a total of eight surgeries, Sidney has this to share, “Something as bad as this shouldn’t slow you down. I have faith and it's bigger than my fears."