Marge Kessler, 74, of Ingraham, IL, is a self-described ‘country girl.’ Raised on a dairy farm, she discovered her passion for driving tractors at age 12 when her father simply needed an extra hand to work the farm.
Early in her marriage, she began driving a tractor on the downstate Illinois hog farm she ran with her husband. Since then, Marge has spent much of her adult life working the farm while caring for their four children.
“I love being outdoors and driving a tractor gives me a great, useful reason to do so,” she explains. Marge’s contribution to farm life continued smoothly until last year when a fall ended badly.
“I was fasting for a health screening and experienced vertigo which caused me to fall,” Marge says. “I had pain in my thigh bone and went by ambulance to the local hospital.” Doctors there determined that she had broken her femur (thigh bone) and treated it by setting the bone and implanting a rod for stability. She was sent home for rest and eight weeks of physical therapy.
Suffering a setback
However, after her rehabilitation, she was walking up a stair at home when she heard a distinct ‘pop’ come from the top of her leg near her hip. An xray revealed that the reason for the mysterious sound was that the rod in her femur had broken. It also showed that her femur was crooked and the bone break had not healed. Realizing that Marge’s situation was very complicated and risky, her daughter researched the best orthopedic trauma surgeons in the Chicago area. She discovered Dr. Joel Williams, an orthopaedic trauma specialist at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. After an immediate appointment was arranged, Marge traveled by ambulance to meet Dr. Williams at Rush University Medical Center. After reviewing Marge’s xrays carefully, Dr. Williams reassured her that he would properly treat her fracture.
“When we shook hands, he looked me in the eye and said ‘you’re going to be just fine.’ I trusted him instantly,” Marge explains.
She gave Dr. Williams the OK to perform surgery but shared with him her goal of traveling to Colorado later that year for an annual summer vacation with her family. It became their mutual goal.
During surgery, Dr. Williams removed the previous rod and realigned her bone to make her leg straight again. He then stabilized the bone with a specialized plate and screw combination. He declared the surgery a success.
Back on the farm
After a careful period of rehabilitation, Marge made it to Colorado for the family vacation. Today, she enjoys bike riding, performing exercises, walking, and shopping. She also joyfully climbs bleachers to watch her many grandchildren play sports. Next up: getting back on the family tractor as soon as possible. She thanks Dr. Williams for putting her at ease throughout her healing journey. “In addition to his surgical expertise, I am grateful for his patience, dedication and focus on my positive outcome!”