It was the end of the work week, and Dwayne Johnson, owner of Airport Transportation and Spanky’s Car Detail, was closing up shop. As he vacuumed the back of a mini-van, a customer drove onto the property and lost his brakes. The car careened into Dwayne, pinning him between the two vehicles causing a traumatic amputation of his left leg.
EMTs rushed Dwayne to Ben Taub Hospital where the trauma team took him to surgery. He’s been told that as surgeons reattached his leg, he had to be revived twice, and at one point, doctors manually massaged his heart.
Over the next two weeks, he returned to surgery several times. In the end, he was given the choice of continuing the efforts to save his leg or amputation with the hope of getting a prosthesis within six months. He chose amputation. “The decision felt good. I knew I was on my way home. Sure enough, six months later, almost to the day, I got my prosthesis.”
Dwayne was already looking on the bright side. If he must lose a leg, it was better to lose his left. As a member of the Big E and the Low Down band, he needs his right leg to play the drums. He also needs it to drive. Within a month of the accident, he sold his business and created a streamlined chauffeuring business for himself and three employees.
About Ben Taub, Dwayne says, “Oh, my gosh! I couldn’t have had better care. I admire the physicians who rounded every day to deliver news, good or bad. If it wasn’t for Ben Taub and the medical teams, I wouldn’t be alive today. I will be forever thankful.”
Dwayne’s 44 days at Ben Taub Hospital were not without complications: an allergic reaction to medication, a blood clot and infection. He says, “Teams were on top of any complication. It was simply beautiful — the professionalism, care and understanding. There’s no better care than Harris Health System, anywhere.
“This slowed me down, but I was determined. I had people depending on me and people caring for me.” He mentions his wife, Maria, and three boys, Blake, Sebastian and Travis. His brother and Aunt Maxine were constants, as was Titus Wells, a member of Ben Taub’s security team.
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I’m stronger today than I was before I became an amputee.”