What’s Wrong with Me?
The patient: Robert, 67, a veterinarian
The symptom: Shortness of breath
The doctor: Dr. Thomas Bauer, a thoracic surgeon at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in New Jersey
One morning in May 2014, Robert was attending to a sick mare on a ranch in the U.S. Midwest when the animal lashed out, catching him in the neck with a back hoof. Robert lost consciousness and doesn’t recall the ambulance ride to the ER. He spent several days in the intensive care unit on a ventilator—the blow had fractured the C3 and C4 vertebrae near the base of his neck. The veterinarian’s recovery was slow and painful, and he required a cervical brace to allow his bones to heal.
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