Dr. Thomas Lindsay, vascular surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, was among a team of surgeons to lead a complex surgery that would rebuild seven-year-old Augusta Toews’ shattered right leg.
(Video: Peter Munk Cardiac Centre)

​​When Dr. Thomas Lindsay recounts that July day in 2014, he sees a detailed picture in his mind --- one that still moves him more than a year later.

The scene takes place at The Hospital for Sick Children, where Dr. Lindsay, vascular surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, happened to be for another case --- already a rarity.

Dr. Lindsay was summoned to an emergency at the pediatric hospital, where a trauma team quickly assembled for a case involving a young girl helicoptered in by air ambulance.

"It was apparent that this was really a very devastating injury, really quickly," says Dr. Lindsay.


Augusta Toews, seven years old and a native of Calgary was in cottage country north of Toronto with her family when tragedy struck. Within two hours, she was in an operating room at SickKids.

"I was looking at this leg where it was barely held on by anything," says Dr. Lindsay, who was among the surgeons to lead a complex surgery focused on carefully rebuilding Augusta's shattered right leg.

"I was the clinical fellow, and thus was directly involved in the clinical diagnosis, management and operative/post-operative care," says Dr. John Byrne, vascular surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, who performed the initial surgery with Dr. Lindsay.

"The key learning for me on that day was the importance of multidisciplinary care. Getting this young girl urgently to the operating room required paramedics, nurses, emergency physicians, vascular, plastics, orthopedics, and anesthesia, and possibly others," he says.

Doctors battled the clock to try and save Augusta's leg, during a six-hour surgical procedure.​​

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