Houston Doctor Canoes Through Floodwaters To Perform Surgery

August 30, 2017

A Houston surgeon canoed through the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters to make his way to the hospital so he could perform surgery on a teen who needed immediate attention.

doctor canoes through flood for surgery
Credit: Clear Lake Regional Medical Center / AP

Dr. Stephen Kimmel got a call early Saturday morning that Jacob Terrazas, 16, was suffering from testicular torsion and needed immediate attention. He jumped in his car and headed toward Clear Lake Regional Medical Center even though his home in Dickinson was beginning to flood.

Dr. Kimmel only got so far when he was forced to turn back home due to rising waters. Fortunately, two volunteer firemen were able to reach him in a personal truck that had a canoe in the truck-bed.

The trio paddled towards the hospital in the dark against heavy currents.

Dr. Kimmel walked the last leg of the journey, almost a mile, through waist-deep water to make it to the hospital.

"Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes," Dr. Kimmel said in a press release. "This young man's life would have been changed for the worse forever if we hadn't been able to perform surgery when we did. In the end, it all turned out very well."

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