JPS Physician Cares for His Patient and Invests in Her Future

February 25th, 2019

You may know about the JPS patient who has had multiple surgeries to save her leg. But did you know that the teen’s surgeon bought her prize-winning goat?

Dr. Bryan Ming, a JPS orthopedic trauma surgery specialist, met Jaylin Smith more than two years ago, after she was brought by helicopter ambulance to the Level I Trauma Center at John Peter Smith Hospital. The teen suffered ATV accident that crushed her ankle and shattered bones in her left leg. Read our original story.

Jaylin Smith and Dr. Bryan Ming

Jaylin Smith and Dr. Bryan Ming

Saving her leg from amputation, Ming has performed nine surgeries on Jaylin’s leg at JPS. And he sees her frequently for follow-up care at Acclaim Ben Hogan Bone & Joint Institute. Over that time, he’s gotten to know her pretty well, learning all about her goal to heal enough to resume showing show goats she raises with her family at their home in Eastland.

So he made sure to be there in January when Jaylin, 17, showed a goat at the Fort Worth Stock Show in January. And he was there a week later when her animal was named reserve grand champion market goat, (equivalent to second place) besting hundreds of other goats in the competition.

A week later, Ming, along with others, contributed to purchasing the prize-winning goat. It will be used for educational programs for young people, says Leslie Walker, Jaylin’s mother.

Ming’s support outside the clinic and the operating room meant the world to Jaylin.

“Without him I wouldn’t be able to show. He’s the one who put me back together,” she said. “At the show, everybody knew who he was. They’d say, ‘you’re the one who saved her leg.’ ”

Today, Jaylin’s leg doesn’t need a cast or brace; she walks without crutches and doesn’t even limp. She even works out every day at 4:30 a.m. before school. A senior, she is headed to college in the fall. (Ming is rooting for his alma mater, Texas A & M University, but she’s likely headed to Tarleton State University.)

Ming gives credit to a team of physicians, nurses and physical therapists for saving Jaylin’s leg, along with Jaylin’s can-do attitude.

“She is doing great,” he said. "The hardest work has been done by her and her family, but I want people to understand that there are many people involved in her success. The JPS community has supported her. This is a win for all of us in the hospital. Everyone contributed to her success.”

Doctors often get to know patients who they are treating for months at a time.

“You’re invested in them and their success. You suffer with them. You celebrate their highs. I would see Jaylin every four to six weeks at a time, so over the course of two years you get to know each other really well,” he said.

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