YANKTON, S.D. (DAKOTA NEWS NOW) - Nearly two years ago, Scott Blackburn was riding his motorcycle between Sioux Falls and Beresford.
Scott Blackburn's ankle surgery has allowed him to ride motorcycle again
"I was trying to be a safe night driver following another vehicle, headlights behind me, my lights on, and a deer happened to go right into my windshield, forcing his way into my chest," said Blackburn.
Two witnesses, who were medically trained, stopped and helped immediately.
"Never saw the bright lights, except for the helicopter," said Blackburn.
Scott had multiple rib fractures and a lacerated liver. He also lost his spleen.
"And then they worked on my foot. It was the last thing that they did," said Blackburn.
While the rest of his body healed, Scott had ongoing issues with his ankle and searched for options. That's when he met with Doctor Jessica Reissig, an orthopedic surgeon at Yankton Medical Clinic. He shared his goal to ride again.
"After our first discussion, I had finally found someone to be in my corner, to get, hopefully, this last resolution and keep moving forward," said Blackburn.
Doctor Reissig fused his ankle by inserting a rod. "and taking screws to just hold it in place, and essentially that's just a placeholder to allow the bones all to fuse together," said Doctor Reissig.
"It's miraculous that my life was saved. It's miraculous that they saved my foot," said Blackburn.
Although every situation is different, Doctor Reissig says many ankle fusion patients still have the mobility to drive, just like Scott.
"But now he's walking without a cane, without anything else, and doesn't have a lot of pain and his foot is no longer...He's no longer walking on the inside of the foot now. He's walking kind of flat-footed as people are meant to," said Doctor Reissig.
He's back on his feet and reaching his goal of getting back on the bike again.
"Regardless of how it may seem, every day is a blessing and a gift and when you need support, ask for it," said Blackburn.
He found the help he needed from Doctor Reissig.
"That's great. I mean, that's why I do it. That's why I wake up in the morning, come to work every day and just to get people back to what they want to do, and keep them happy. You can't really live life if you're sitting on a couch, so anything I can do to get people up and walking, that's really gratifying," said Doctor Reissig.
Scott says there is a long list of people to thank, and he hopes to reach out to many of them in time.
"I'm the lucky one. I have the opportunity to get better. So I'm gonna roll with that and stay positive. Just don't let the negative in," said Blackburn.