Two Fractures, 9400 Miles Apart, One Shared Perspective

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Trauma injuries can be unpredictable. That’s why DePuy Synthes Trauma representatives stand by 24 hours per day to ensure surgeons have what they need to successfully treat their patients using our products. Here’s the story of two sales representatives who, due to personal injury, transformed from dedicated employees to DePuy Synthes patients, depending on the very implants they support.

Teo Si Ying, Senior Product Specialist, Trauma from Singapore was on a long-anticipated vacation to Niseko, Japan to learn to snowboard. Halfway across the globe, John DeCocker, Trauma and CMF Sales Representative from Chicago, Illinois was playing paintball in Phoenix, AZ. In a manner of seconds both of their lives took unexpected turns – or more accurately falls - that changed their relationship with the DePuy Synthes plating solutions they support.

During her fifth day (trip was 10 days) on the slopes, Teo displaced and fractured the distal radius in her left wrist. Thousands of miles away while scrambling to get the perfect paintball shot, John stumbled and fractured his left ankle, resulting in extensive damage to his fibula. Teo and John had the misfortune of being injured while enjoying active lifestyles, not unlike the millions of previous recipients of DePuy Synthes plating solutions.

Local Injury, Global Solution

Fortunately, despite being on two different continents, they both had access to skilled orthopaedic surgeons who determined their respective injuries would be best treated with DePuy Synthes plating solutions. Plates and screws are often used to stabilize and place broken bones into the optimal position enabling the natural healing process of the body. In most cases, the plates and screws are left in place after the healing is complete.

“I’ve been supporting these products for 27 years and have seen how they helped countless patients heal,” said John DeCocker. “I was confident I, too, would be back on my feet in no time.”


                                                                    John DeCocker’s Broken Ankle – Before and After Surgery

“In the past, I learned in theory how these products help patients,” said Teo Si Ying. ”Now that I have experienced first-hand how these products are indeed life-changing and improving patients’ lives significantly, I am able to better relate to what the patient is feeling and going through.”

Life Without Restrictions

Thanks to the skills of their surgeons, the design and strength of the DePuy Synthes plating solution and the hard work they put into their rehabilitation, Teo and John’s fractures completely healed and they are both back to full function. Teo was treated with a DePuy Synthes distal radius plate, which features a narrow design that allowed the plate to better fit her wrist.


                                                   DePuy Synthes distal radius plate, similar to the plate used to treat Teo Si Ying

 “The implant can be placed in your body by the best surgeon in town, there’s a whole other side to healing - post-operative management,” said Teo. “My compliance during the rehabilitation and physiotherapy treatment was most essential to regaining the range of motion and function of my wrist.”


                                                                                        Teo Si Ying shortly before her injury

“Given I fractured my left ankle, I was able to drive myself to work; although I did have to give up driving a manual transmission until I was fully healed,” said John. “Compared to the restrictions some patients have during their rehabilitation, that was just a minor inconvenience, but it brought home how important our solutions are to restoring people’s health so they can return to doing whatever they want.”


                                                      John DeCocker maintaining his active lifestyle while rehabilitating his ankle

Teo looks forward to eventually getting back on a snowboard and finishing what she started two years ago in Japan. While John hasn’t had a chance to play paintball since his injury, he quickly returned to the physically demanding requirements of a sales representative, supporting surgeons in multiple locations, often spending hours on his feet without any pain or discomfort.

Ready for Anything

Both feel they are even better prepared to support their customers as a result of their injuries. What they once only observed they have now experienced, providing them with an even greater appreciation for the solutions they support and a stronger connection to patients dealing with injuries such as theirs.

Their experiences paired with DePuy Synthes plating solutions that have been used to treat more than 30 million trauma patients informs our future approaches for surgeons and patients. Through our presence in almost every operating room in the world, including in surgeries for the treatment of traumatic injuries, our team of engineers, clinicians and trauma sales representatives such as Teo and John provide us with the deep expertise and knowledge needed to ensure we are Ready for Anything