Thirty-year-old travel blogger Brandi Applebaum had planned her perfect wedding day for nearly two years while her husband was deployed to the Florida Army National Guard.
From flowers to seating arrangements, every detail of Applebaum’s wedding day was perfectly planned in advance of the big day -- except for a trip to the emergency department at Broward Health Coral Springs.
It all began when the bride-to-be walked downstairs to meet her father for their father-daughter look. “I missed a step and then immediately grabbed the rail with my right hand,” Applebaum recalls.
With only five steps left, she continued making her way down the stairs, not realizing she had dislocated her shoulder. However, once she started taking pictures, it was obvious that something was wrong with her arm.
Applebaum said she felt very uncomfortable and told her family that she was not okay. She knew she hadn’t broken her arm because she could wiggle her fingers but felt a considerable amount of discomfort.
According to Lawrence Riesz, M.D., associate medical director of the Emergency Department at Broward Health Coral Springs, a dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone comes out of the socket that connects it to the shoulder. This is a frequent injury, as the shoulder joint is the most flexible part of the body, making it vulnerable to dislocation.
Uncertainty On the Wedding Day
The couple didn't want a trip to the hospital to get in the way of their picture-perfect wedding.
“I believe that the bride and groom set the tone for the wedding day, so I knew if we could be calm it would translate to our guests,” Applebaum said.
According to the bride, her groom, who serves as a combat medic in the military, helped to manage the situation.
“It wasn’t in anyone’s interest for me to be a wreck,” Applebaum said. “I would also have to find a makeup artist to redo my makeup, and there was no time for that.”
A Trip to the Hospital
With only hours to spare before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, the bride’s father and brother-in-law rushed the bride to Broward Health Coral Springs, where the hospital’s multidisciplinary team took immediate action.
“I vividly remember that day,” Dr. Riesz said. “The team understood our patient’s urgency, and we worked diligently to get her back to her wedding.”
The emergency team conducted an X-ray and discovered that Applebaum had dislocated her shoulder.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The top of the upper arm bone, which forms a ball, moves within a curved cavity or socket in the scapula, or shoulder blade. When a shoulder dislocates, the ball and socket bones essentially pop out of place.
Without hesitation, Dr. Riesz popped her shoulder back into place and helped alleviate her pain. The emergency team at Broward Health Coral Springs provided compassionate and comforting aid, allowing the bride to feel at ease.
“I had complete faith in everything Dr. Riesz recommended,” Applebaum said. “Dr. Riesz provided such exceptional care that we invited him to join us at the wedding party if he could get off his shift early.”
The bride made it back in time to say her “I dos,” and the couple danced the night away.
A few days after the wedding, the bride visited the hospital to deliver a touching handwritten note from her father.
“Marleen and I cannot begin to express the gratitude we have for everything you all did to make our daughter’s wedding a tremendous success!” the note read. “You all were instrumental in making it happen…and on time too.”
In the future, every year as the couple celebrates their wedding anniversary the family will have a memorable story to tell.
To learn more about Broward Health’s emergency services visit BrowardHealth.org/Emergency.