Thad Pool: 'I wouldn't be here doing as well as I am without them'

For Winona, Minnesota police officer Thad Pool, keeping people safe has been a way of life for the past 28 years. However, on June 27, 2020, while enjoying the extreme, backcountry mountain bike trails in Copper Harbor, Michigan with friends, he found himself on the receiving end of help. Lucky for Thad, another mountain biker with a medical degree was on scene while emergency crews responded and transported him to the emergency department at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital. He knew right away he was in good hands.

“I could not have asked for a better team caring for me at one of the worst times of my healthy life,” Thad said.

Arriving at Aspirus, doctors and nurses jumped into action and a trauma assessment was performed. Thad spent three nights in the intensive care unit (ICU). Due to COVID-19, and the seven-hour distance from home, having visitors was nearly impossible.

“The staff went out of their way to make sure I was as comfortable as possible,” Thad said. “The team was extremely supportive, caring, responsive to my needs and they took the time to get to know me.”

Returning to Winona, Thad was assessed a second time and underwent surgery on his left shoulder to reconstruct his collar bone that was shattered into four pieces. Today, he can lift and move his arm, and he’s slowly getting back to doing all of the things he loves to do. He is so happy to have been in the right hands when he needed them most.

“The ER doctor, maintenance, ICU nurse, and pharmacy staff all showed a level of care and willingness to help,” Thad said. “The care team at Aspirus has a true passion for the work they do, and it shows.”

And while Thad has since turned in his police badge, he continues to regain his strength and is looking forward to getting back into scuba diving, traveling, and riding his bike.

“I can’t thank my care team enough for their professionalism and compassion,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here doing as well as I am without them.”