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Beyond the button

Teams provide expert, compassionate care despite complicated injury

By Allison Wilson

Barbara Brandon Schwartz watches proudly as her mother, Nadya Brandon, walks the halls of her assisted living facility in Ocala. Aided just slightly by a walker, Brandon’s steps are confident and full of purpose as she heads to her morning bingo game. And each one is miraculous considering that less than five months ago, she nearly lost her left leg.

Nadya Brandon and her daughter, Barbara Brandon Schwartz

It was Friday, May 13. Brandon, 86, was out running errands when she became confused and opened the driver’s side door of her moving car, which then ran over her lower left leg.

“It caused a very, very serious injury,” said Schwartz, a retired nurse who worked in the Shands at UF Operating Room in the 1970s and ’80s. “Her wounds were so severe, our local emergency room (in Ocala) felt they could not adequately treat her. So she was transported to the ER at Shands at UF.”

Shands Critical Care Center teams stabilized Brandon, and she had surgery the following Monday. Kalia K. Sadasivan, M.D., the UF College of Medicine orthopaedic trauma chief, led the procedure, which was complicated by Brandon’s age, the severity of her injuries and her adverse reaction to anesthesia.

“It didn’t seem to phase them a bit,” Schwartz said. “I was surprised she didn’t lose her leg, but amputation wasn’t even mentioned as a possibility.”

In addition to the expert medical care that saved her mother’s leg, Schwartz said she was impressed with the team’s compassion and dedication in caring for Brandon.

“She got great care,” Schwartz said. “I was there for 10 hours a day, and the attitude of all the nurses, doctors, aides, technicians — everyone was very good and very attentive. They were right there for whatever we needed. They helped me make arrangements to get her back to Ocala and set up her rehab, and everything worked really well.”

Brandon’s rehab in Ocala has gone well, and physical therapists expect her to progress to a cane soon. Although Brandon remembers very little about the accident or her time at Shands, she said she knew she was getting the very best care she could possibly get and is overwhelmed with gratitude.

“Thank you,” she said with tears in her eyes. “Thanks with body, soul, my heart, my mind — my spirit is in that thanks, and I don’t know that they could read it. I will remember them always.”

Brandon’s story reflects what happens when our health care teams promise to provide the best quality health care and service, with a focus on patient safety and continued improvement. Watch a video of Brandon’s story and other I Promise patient success stories at

Have you seen or been a part of a similar example of excellent patient care? Want to share your story in our newsletters or on our website? Then please email