A Topeka doctor, seriously injured in an accident four weeks ago, is finally back home.
Dr. Alan Wynne says he and his family have called it a miracle from the start. He says he was driving on the Kansas Turnpike to Kansas City to give a talk on diabetes September 18th, when he called a colleague to clarify directions. She said she'd call him right back, so he pulled over to the shoulder to wait.
That's the last thing he remembers. What happened next, police say, is that a man who was passing vehicles on the shoulder slammed into Wynne's vehicle. The impact basically crunched Wynne's torso, fracturing several vertebrae and at least eight ribs. Wynne says he got a look at the x-ray recently. He says the fractures aren't minimally displaced. On one side, he says, they're separated at least an inch; on the other, they're jammed together in impaction fractures.
Wynne was flown to KU Medical Center, both lungs collapsed. His wife, Cindy, rushed to his side. She says seeing him the first night, with tubes and semi-conscious, was difficult. But she was soon reassured he'd be all right. Though he couldn't speak due to a breathing tube, she says they developed a code to communicate and he was soon asking "doctor" questions about what his levels and settings were.
Not that the road to recovery has been easy. Wynne underwent surgery to have second thru seventh thoracic vertebrae fused with rods and screws. He has spent hours in therapy, only recently graduating from a walker to a cane to moving without assistance.
"Thousands have prayed for that outcome," Wynne says, "and those prayers were answered."
Wynne say, while he did not cry over the pain, all the thoughts and prayers moved him to tears. He says he was overwhelmed by the kindness of others, with cards from people offering encouragement.
"I knew (people) loved him," Cindy Wynne says. "But I didn't know the extent of his affect on the community."
The Wynnes believe this crisis will allow them to have an impact perhaps in a new way. Alan Wynne says they see it not as luck, but as a higher purpose of the Lord still unknown to them.
"We fell like we're getting a second chance with Alan," Cindy Wynne says. "That's something we don't take lightly at all."
The Wynnes have four children ages seven to seventeen. Alan Wynne says he hopes to return to work on a limited basis at the Cotton-O'Neil Diabetes Center by the first of the year, but likely won't be able to resume seeing patients for another several months.
The Douglas County District Attorney is awaiting final reports before deciding on possible charges against the driver who hit Wynne.