Forrest General trauma patient survives potentially lethal fall
Benton Mark has learned to appreciate the things that matter in life: his friends, family, and faith in God. As he puts it, “I’m not a rambling man; I just like to be around here at my house.”
Benton’s eighty years of life have been filled with experiences, both good and bad, and he loves to tell stories. When asked about his time as a truck driver, he leans in with a laugh and says, “They used to call me ‘Dirt Dobber,’” before launching into the rest of the story.
He describes his most recent trip to Forrest General’s Emergency Room with the same good-natured humor. Benton said, “It’s funny to me now. It started when I went outside to feed my cat.”
With a glass plate in one hand, Benton walked down the stairs of his home to feed his cat. Benton has to be particularly careful on steps because he is unable to move his right leg as well as he can his left. On the way back inside, his foot caught on one of the stairs which sent him sprawling with the glass plate still in hand. Benton ended up breaking the plate and severing an artery in his hand.
Benton’s daughter, Felicia Mark, said, “I was scared when I got the phone call. My dad said, ‘I’m bleeding, and I can’t get it to stop.’ When I got to his house, all I saw was my dad sitting in a chair with blood running out of his hand like somebody was pouring it. It just looked like water.”
Benton Mark's Story
The Marks weren't ready for a traumatic event. It's something you can't plan or prepare for. That's why we're always ready and prepared to provide the most advanced trauma care available in south Mississippi.
Falls are one of the most common accidents that send people to the ER, particularly in the elderly population. In Benton’s case, a severed artery coupled with the blood thinning medication he takes for his heart condition caused a potentially deadly situation. Felicia rushed her father to Marion General Hospital in Columbia, and from there, he was airlifted to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.
“Falls are a frequent cause of injury in many of our older adults. In 2017, we had nearly 700 patients come to the ER after a fall. Even a fall from a standing position can result in serious injury in older patients, who are often more frail and often on some type of blood thinner,” said Duncan Donald, MD, FACS, director, Trauma and Surgical Services.
As a Level II Trauma Center, Forrest General offers the highest level of trauma care available in south Mississippi and has a team of medical professionals on-site and always ready to care for patients like Benton. In addition to the care Benton received in the ER, Felicia comments that she was happy with how his condition was explained to her allowing her to make the most informed decisions about her father’s care.
She said, “The nurses were great. They saw that I was a little nervous and reassured me that my dad would be fine. They explained everything to us. His doctor was more of an on-our-level type of doctor; he explained everything step-by-step. The nurses kept checking on the family to make sure we were ok and to ask if we needed anything. We were on a first name basis by the time he was released to go home.”
Benton is doing well after his surgery and has gotten back to doing the things he enjoys. Felicia says she is just happy to have her dad around and to see him spending time with her daughter.
“That’s my dad. My mom is gone. I’m 46 years old, and when things go wrong with me, I call my dad. It’s just an indescribable feeling because of who my dad is to me,” Felicia said.
For more information about the Level II Trauma Center at Forrest General Hospital, visit forrestgeneral.com/alwaysready.