Patient Stories

Peter R. Thomas, MD

Thanks to my care at OrthoVirginia, I can play the violin again!

In August of 2015, I had recently turned 18 years old and was hanging out with my high school best friends late on a Friday night one last time before we began our first semester of college. We were playing charades and as I leaned on an antique glass table, it broke and my left arm went through it. I was taken by ambulance to the local hospital where they realized I needed much more than just stitches because I could not move my wrist or fingers. I was transferred to Virginia Hospital Center and met Dr. Peter Thomas for the first time at 3:00 a.m. He conducted some tests and explained that I needed surgery right away. He was so reassuring to my parents and me and we felt a sense of confidence in this stranger who left his home and family to treat my injuries in the middle of the night. During a four hour surgery Dr. Thomas restored my radial nerve which had been completely severed. He cleaned out glass that remained in my arm, and re-stitched the other cuts on my hand. He explained that it would be months to find out if I would able to move my wrist, fingers or to give a thumbs up again. When it was time to have the stitches removed, he saw how difficult it was for me to control my anxiety and decided to do it himself. At 5 months post-surgery, at exactly the time Dr. Thomas predicted, I was able to move my wrist again. The numbness in my hand and arm was also somewhat reduced. Within another 2 months, I was able to give a thumbs up to Dr. Thomas! At about the same time, I was once again able to play the violin. I still have some residual pain and numbness but I can do all the activities I need to do again thanks to the wonderful surgical skills of Dr. Thomas. Our family could not be more grateful to him, for his expertise, and for his genuine care and kindness to us.