Upon meeting Windboy Yellowplume today, it would be nearly impossible to suspect that less than two years ago he was considering an amputation of his leg. Windyboy is a happy, smiling 16 year old who loves basketball and has a sense of humor that gets his orthopedic team laughing the second they walk in the room. However, Windyboy’s demeanor hasn’t always been so light hearted.
In late October of 2013, Windyboy suffered a devastating injury to his right leg after an ATV accident when he collided with another vehicle and was thrown from his ATV. Windboy’s tibia and fibula bones were broken and had come through the skin. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he had emergent surgery to clean his wounds, attempt to stabilize the bones and cover the large wounds on his leg. Unfortunately, Windboy’s healing was not progressing as hoped at the outside hospital. Despite several months of treatment, his bones and wounds had become infected and were not healing.
At this time, Windboy’s doctors felt his injuries were too severe to continue treatment at the outside hospital. He was transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado where an extensive multi-disciplinary team took over his care. This team included specialty doctors from orthopedics, infectious disease and plastic surgery. While at CHCO, Windyboy underwent nine surgeries over the course of nine months. His recovery also included multiple hospital admissions, outpatient care coordinated with Children’s Hospital Colorado and his local providers, prolonged antibiotic therapy, and extensive rehabilitation. There were times at the beginning of his treatment that Windboy felt it may be easier to have his leg cut off. However, with the support of his family and providers, Windboy continued the fight to save his leg. After countless hours between Windyboy and his team of providers at CHCO, his story has an optimal and happy ending. Today he thrives without any restrictions on his leg. Windyboy is back to playing basketball, the sport that he loves.