A Patient Who Beat the Odds – More Than Once

As Perry Martinez recently chatted with IU Health University Hospital transplant nurse Nicole Miller, he joked that he had “all day” to talk.

“Someone wants me alive so I have all day and then some. By most calculations I’ve beat the odds, dodged a bullet,” said Martinez. First there was a coma in November 2018 – resulting from complications related to his failing liver. Then there was a liver transplant on Dec. 10, 2018.

The surgery and recovery went smoothly and Martinez returned to his Mishawaka, IN. home.

But in late December he returned to IU Health with his wife Shirley Martinez for a scheduled clinic visit.  They drove away from Indianapolis in winter-like conditions. The farther north they drove the more the weather provided challenges on the road. They were about 20 minutes from home when their Jeep Liberty hit a patch of black ice. Shirley Martinez tried to regain control said her husband but the slick road took over. Their jeep flipped six times.

Shirley Martinez was treated for bumps and bruises. Perry Martinez was transported by ambulance back to Indianapolis to Methodist Hospital.

“I’m right back where I started for the transplant,” said Martinez, who was eventually moved to the transplant unit of IU Health University Hospital. “I have two broken arms, several broken ribs, a cracked spinal cord, a ripped spleen and liver.”

After several days in ICU, Martinez said the pain has lessened and he feels like he’s on the mend.

“I’m fortunate to be in such good hands,” said Martinez. “The staff here is amazing. They’ve taken really good care of me.” 

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.