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Shelby’s Story

Following a near-death motorcycle accident, Shelby was given a 4 percent chance of survival. After a long but promising recovery at Shaw Emergency and Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH), he continues to show improvement every day.

At 71, Shelby Hobbs was in great shape. His wife, Carol, described him as 200 pounds and built like a 50-year-old. He still worked full-time, did sit-ups and rode his Harley. In 2005, he was out riding his motorcycle when a pickup truck in front of him blocked his view of a pickup approaching in the opposite lane. It also blocked the view of Shelby from the driver of the other truck. As he turned, the truck hit him and threw him over the top of the vehicle, and he landed on the road.

His injuries were so severe that he nearly died at the scene and was revived by the paramedics. The collision caused his brain to bleed in seven places. His spleen was damaged beyond repair. He had a compound fracture below the right knee and all the muscles above his knee were severed. His right hip and pelvis were broken. Three ribs poked through his lungs. He had a torn aorta, a broken back, separated vertebrae and a compound fracture of the right arm.

He was taken by CareFlight to MVH and treated at the Trauma Center. The physician later told Carol that 90 percent of the trauma cases as bad as Shelby’s die at the scene, and the other 10 percent usually die en route to the hospital. 

Shelby was in a coma for a month and remained at MVH for two months. The time was not without complications. Swelling raised Shelby's weight to 340 pounds. After the removal of his spleen, the swelling prevented organs from returning to their place in the abdomen. These were returned surgically, and skin was grafted over the incision.

He was the first patient in Dayton to receive an endovascular graft for a ruptured aorta. He was then transferred to Kendrick Nursing Home for a month and Dayton Rehab for a month. Afterward, Carol cared for Shelby at home.

Shelby still shows improvement every day. His long-term memory is fine, but his short-term is a little fuzzy. He walks with a cane the 200 feet to the end of the driveway every day with Carol. He can walk around the house without his cane.

Content Updated: December 8, 2014

These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Emergency & Trauma Services.
Emergency and Trauma at Miami Valley Hospital
Emergency Center in Jamestown
Emergency Department at Miami Valley Hospital South
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