Steve's Back in the Game
“I knew I was in the best hands possible at Jefferson.”
As the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Philadelphia Phillies, Steve Noworyta spends a lot of time on the road traveling to minor league baseball games. On April 13, 2014, he was driving to his home in Mt. Laurel, NJ, after attending a Lakewood BlueClaws game that afternoon.
Steve remembers two cars driving in the lane ahead of him, when a flash on the right caught his eye. A car was traveling in the wrong direction. The oncoming driver lost control and hit Steve’s car, sending him into oncoming traffic.”
Expert Care You Can Count On
The crash left the 54-year-old with a complex leg fracture, a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a broken jaw. After being stabilized in a local hospital, he requested to be transported to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Although his injuries could have been treated where he was, Steve knew that his femur fracture was not a simple problem, and he had confidence in the specialists at Jefferson. When he arrived, Steve was placed in the care of highly-skilled critical care traumatologists (surgeons specializing in trauma), trauma-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as orthopedic trauma experts – all team members of Jefferson’s Comprehensive Traumatic Injury Program.
After his other problems had been stabilized, Steve had surgery to fix his badly broken leg. As a result, he was out of the hospital and back home in Mt. Laurel within a week of his injury. He credits Jefferson’s amazing trauma team with keeping his spirits up during his hospital stay and for his full recovery after.
“It’s how you approach it, and how Jefferson made me feel,” says Steve. “Not only from Dr. (James) Krieg (Director, Orthopedic Trauma, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital), but the nurses, therapists and everybody that was around. My goal was to show them that I’m going to be better the next time they see me.”
Standing On Your Own
The first two months at home were tough, since Steve had to keep his leg immobilized. After two months, he was given the green light from Dr. Krieg to begin rehabbing the leg. “The day that I was finally able to get out of the house I used a walker and went to the gym,” he recalls. “People there thought I was nuts because they saw me with a walker, then a crutch, then a cane.”
Exactly one year from the day of the accident, Steve was given full medical clearance. He passed his first real test this past spring, when he spent two months on the job at the Phillies’ spring training facilities in Clearwater, Fla. “I didn’t miss a beat,” he says.
Today, Steve is back to evaluating talent at the Phillies minor league facilities in the Lehigh Valley, Reading, Williamsport, and, bringing it full circle, in Lakewood, NJ. “I just stayed positive,” he says. “I knew I was in the best hands possible at Jefferson.”
The team at Jefferson’s Comprehensive Traumatic Injury Program was there to deliver a big save.
Jefferson’s Traumatic Injury Program
Jefferson is the only hospital in Philadelphia – and one of only 14 in the nation – to have an accredited Level I Trauma Center, staffed and equipped to treat a wide variety of trauma-related conditions, and a federally designated Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center. Achieving and maintaining these designations takes hard work and a 24/7 commitment to providing exceptional care in the most critical situations.
Transfer to Jefferson
To initiate a transfer to Jefferson, ask your physician to call the Jefferson Transfer Center, at 1-800-JEFF-121 (1-800-533-3121).