Horse Fall Victim With Spinal Injury Leaves NCH On His Own Power

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A man thrown from a horse who was experiencing paralysis was rushed to Northwest Community Hospital where he was treated for a ruptured disk. He exited the hospital the next day on his own power.

For the victim of a recent horse fall in the northwest suburbs, the medical prognosis was grim. The man, who had been thrown from a horse, told emergency responders that he had no feeling or movement in both of his arms and legs.

The man was rushed to Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) in Arlington Heights where he was taken for emergency surgery by Richard Broderick, MD, a neurological surgeon who found that the victim was beginning to regain some feeling and movement throughout his body upon his arrival.

“After he was thrown from the horse, first responders found him to have been rendered quadriplegic,” Dr. Broderick says. “This was a situation similar to injuries in the NFL. He needed to go into emergency surgery.”

During surgery, Dr. Broderick found that the man had ruptured a disk in his neck during the fall and had severe compression of his spinal cord, which led to immediate paralysis. To relieve the compression, Dr. Broderick performed surgery on the spinal cord. After the two-hour procedure, the victim was in good spirits and had regained feeling and movement in his arms and legs.

Following a night of rest at NCH, the victim showed remarkable improvement. He was discharged just one day after his accident and left NCH on his own power.

“We don’t often see this quick recovery from such a catastrophic injury,” Dr. Broderick says. “He walked out the front door of the hospital less than 24 hours after accident.”

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About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)
Serving Chicago’s northwest suburbs since 1959, NCH is a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves more than 350,000 outpatients each year, as well as nearly 30,000 inpatients treated annually at the 496-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center, earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2011, and was awarded the Leapfrog Group’s designation as one of the nation’s Top Hospitals based on quality and safety criteria. NCH has four Immediate Care locations in the northwest suburbs and operates a FastCare Clinic in Palatine. NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. For more information or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit

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Patrick Reilly
Northwest Community Healthcare
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