Open Accessibility Menu


  • Author: Marcos Reyna
  • Date Submitted: Sep 7, 2018
  • Category: Orthopedics

The only thing Marcos Reyna values more than his family is his work. So when a head-on collision threatened to take him away from both, the skilled team at Kaweah Health sprang into action. With the help of Visalia orthopedic surgeon Dr. Seth Criner, and life-saving measures performed by the staff at Kaweah Health Medical Center, Marcos has returned to full-time duty as a police officer at Coalinga State Hospital, nearly two years after he was involved in the horrific auto collision.

The Delano resident was told he was lucky to survive the collision that happened around 6:15 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2016. Marcos was traveling north on Highway 43 just outside of Delano when he noticed the car headed south drifting into his lane. Marcos drove onto the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision, but the oncoming car veered off the road, too. Both drivers corrected back onto the road, and hit head-on.

The next thing Marcos knew, he was being transported by helicopter to Kaweah Health Medical Center. Marcos' most pressing need when he arrived at the Emergency Department was a ruptured colon, which on-duty general surgeon Dr. Ammon Rasmussen repaired immediately.

After he stabilized from that surgery, Dr. Criner began to assess Marcos' other extensive injuries, which included right and left pelvis fractures, nine fractured ribs, minute fractures to his spine, a broken knee, numerous broken bones in his feet and hands, and a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.

"He was in pretty bad shape and we gradually put him back together," Dr. Criner said. "You have to figure out what to prioritize, and figure out what's safe to move forward with. You want to fix as much stuff early in the process as the patient can tolerate. The sooner we can mobilize him, the sooner we can get him out of the hospital, on to rehab and on the road to recovery."

Dr. Criner surgically repaired Marcos' left and right pelvis fractures, stabilized his broken left knee and reset broken bones in his hands and feet during a 22-day stay at Kaweah Health. Months of recovery and rehab followed before Dr. Criner operated on the rotator cuff tear in Marcos' right shoulder in May 2017.

The last hurdle in Marcos' quest to return to work was knee surgery that Dr. Criner performed in February 2018. After another round of intense rehab, Marcos was given clearance by Dr. Criner on June 28 to return to work. His first day back was July 2.

"When I submitted my clearance papers from Dr. Criner, my sergeant called immediately and said 'are you ready to get back to work?'" Marcos said. "I was so excited. I was beyond happy. That was right there with when I became a grandfather as the happiest times in my life."

"I love it when I have a patient like Marcos," Dr. Criner said. "I know if I fix him, he's going to do well. We have plenty of people who don't want to get back to life as much as Marcos does. Guys like Marcos are the reason we do this. Guys like him are what make this job enjoyable."

Marcos said Dr. Criner's support - in addition to his surgical kills - helped him accomplish his goal of returning to work.

"He's been outstanding, more than I expected," Marcos said. "He was so positive from the very beginning when I was in that hospital room. He told me we are going to work on this together as a team. We're going to get you back. He never restricted me. I have serious respect for him."