Teen who nearly loses arm in accident returns to Level I Trauma Center to say thanks

Oct. 27, 2022

After a horrific truck accident, Konnor Burge was flown to UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central’s Level I Trauma Center, which was recently recertified as a Level I center.

Konnor, 18, lost his father, Ernest Brandon Burge, in the Dec. 29, 2020, accident. Upon arrival at Memorial, Konnor was in bad shape. His bicep had been torn out, his arm was fractured in two spots and he also had a fractured femur.

Initially, physicians were unsure whether they could save Konnor’s arm. Dr. Fred Deleyiannis, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, intervened.

“Essentially what we did was transplant a muscle from his leg into his arm,’’ Deleyiannis said.

Konnor had 14 surgeries and spent 21 days in the hospital to help him heal.

Dr. Jonathan Barnwell, an orthopedic surgeon who also performed multiple surgeries, says of Konnor: “He had several devastating injuries. Any one of those injuries alone can impact your entire life. His upper arm was broken at the shaft; we call it a comminuted fracture, which means the bone is in several pieces. His nerves were exposed. We were literally looking at his nerves.”

Konnor now has nearly full mobility of his arm. Since the accident, he’s graduated from high school, earned his Eagle Scout and enrolled in college.

“I’m doing really good now.’’