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December 25, 2019

By John Kovach, New Canaan Advertiser

A prominent therapist and longtime New Canaan resident is recovering after suffering serious injuries when an ice-laden branch snapped off a tree and struck her Tuesday, Dec. 17.

“It’s a miracle she’s alive,” her son, Lane Coder, said.

woman-who-was-hit-by-branchNew Canaan Advertiser: Contributed Photo / Lane Coder

Dr. Rachel Coder Matthews, shown in an ad campaign photographed by her son, Lane, was injured when a falling branch landed on her Tuesday, Dec. 17.

 

Dr. Rachel Coder Matthews, LCSW, was with her son, a professional photographer, while he took shots along Lapham Road and Waveny Park around 7 p.m. The trees were still iced over from the previous day’s freezing rain. Former New Canaan residents, they now live in Riverside.

“We were conscious of the conditions and did not enter the wooded area of the park and mainly stood in the street or along the edge of the road where the shoulder/designated area was,” Coder, 43, later wrote in an email. “I took portraits of my mother and landscapes of the park from afar. We were only there for a short period of time and while I was in the street taking photos, my mother was standing in the shoulder next to my car, (which was on with the headlights and rear lights illuminated) watching for cars to alert me. There was not any wind and it was whisper silent in that area and at that point I did not hear any branches fall. All of the sudden it sounded like a bomb went off and I quickly turned to the sound, which was directly above my mother’s head about twenty feet up. I saw a branch as large as my Audi sedan break off a tree and I watched it come down on her head. She disappeared and it was silent again.”

Coder said he repeatedly screamed “No” as he ran to his mother’s aid.

“I barely remember this, but I removed the branch that was on top of her. She was able to speak and she said, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK.” but I knew differently after witnessing the event,” Coder wrote in an email. “She had blood around her mouth but no other visible injuries in the darkness. She complained of pain in her chest and that was all.

“This was the worst single event I have ever seen in my entire life,” he added.

Adding to his trauma, Coder said, was the fact that several cars were driven around him as he tried to help his mother, not stopping to help.

Despite the impact, “It looks like she is going to make a full recovery, and based on what happened it’s hard to believe,” Coder said.

 

For that, he credits responders from the New Canaan Volunteer Amblance Corps, (also known as New Canaan Emergency Medical Services, NCEMS), and Norwalk Hospital Paramedics.

“I want to shine a light on those whom I consider to be heroes in this situation and saved my mother’s life, and those are the volunteer paramedics of NCEMS,” Coder wrote. “One responder in particular is a family friend, Wendy Hilboldt, along with Troy Haynie, Peter Mason and Kyle from Norwalk Hospital. I am beyond grateful for their professionalism and the training, which Wendy later described to me as being something they are always prepared for but very rarely have to implement.

“I remember my mother mentioning to me several times how gentle and cautious they were with her as they brought her to the ambulance on the board and in a neck brace,” Coder continued. “When she got into the ambulance and out of the darkness, it became very apparent how severe her injuries were and I was told to go to Norwalk Hospital immediately. I waited and followed the ambulance because I could not leave her. Upon arrival at the hospital I was greeted by Wendy, in the waiting room who continued to comfort me and told me that my mother had been and was still in good hands. Wendy later described the event as a ‘bizarre and frightening ordeal.’”

Coder said a CAT scan revealed that his mother suffered a brain hemorrhage, as well as an eight-inch gash on her head which was held together with 20 staples, a broken back with three vertebrate shattered through all three columns, and a broken rib.

“I was told she was lucky to not be paralyzed and ultimately to be alive,” Coder wrote. “We were told brain and spinal cord surgery were probably going to happen the following day. We found out Wednesday morning that she did not need brain surgery and the bleeding had stopped, but she needed reconstructive spinal cord surgery immediately.”

He praised orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert L. Brady and his team for their work.

“His PA, (physician assistant), Gabriella, promised to call me every hour during the procedure and did so to make sure I knew everything was OK,” Coder wrote. “I am again beyond grateful to Dr. Brady, Gabriella and all of the other doctors, PAs, nurses, occupational therapists and everyone in general at Norwalk Hospital for their kindness and for saving my mother’s life.”

Coder Matthews is now recovering in a rehabilitation facilty closer to her Greenwich home.

November 06, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Danbury, CT (November 6, 2019)

OrthoConnecticut is pleased to welcome Orthopedic Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Aaron N. Insel, M.D., to the practice. Dr. Insel will work in both the Danbury and Southbury office locations.

Aaron N. Insel M.D. headshotDr. Insel is board certified and fellowship-trained in hand & upper extremity surgery and specializes in both conservative and operative treatment of the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. He completed his orthopedic surgery training at the prestigious University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and went on to complete his fellowship at SUNY Stony Brook where he learned from several world-renowned faculty and leaders in the field of upper extremity surgery.

Dr. Insel is skilled in several of the most advanced and minimally invasive procedures including Xiaflex® injections to treat Dupuytren’s disease, endoscopic carpal tunnel release as well as wrist arthroscopy. He also specializes in microsurgical reconstruction of injured nerves and blood vessels in the hand and upper extremity.

Dr. Insel treats patients of all ages from children with congenital trigger thumb to elderly individuals with arthritic joints. His particular interests include treating fractures, reconstructing arthritic joints of the shoulder, elbow and fingers, peripheral nerve disorders and tendinopathies. However, his orthopedic surgery training makes him well equipped to treat a wide range of orthopedic injuries apart from those affecting the upper extremity.

Dr. Insel is the former Section Chief of Hand Surgery at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), and American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS). Dr. Insel will be operating out of Danbury Hospital and Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgical Center (WCOSC).

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Insel to our OrthoConnecticut team. Adding his expertise to the hand center demonstrates our continued commitment to provide the highest level of comprehensive and specialized care to our patients and local community,” stated Dr. Michael Brand, President of OrthoConnecticut.

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Insel, contact his assistant, JoAnn at (203) 797-1500‬‬‬ ext. 6654, or go to www.myorthoct.com.

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. It is the combined practice of Danbury Orthopedics, New Milford Orthopedics, Coastal Orthopedics and CT Pain Care. 27 fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians offer patient care at 9 offices in Danbury, Darien, Litchfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury and Westport. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, Darien, Norwalk and Westport. To make an appointment with any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more visit http://www.myorthoct.com/ or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).

August 01, 2019

Danbury, Conn. (August 1, 2019) Today, at the Danbury Ice Arena in Danbury, Connecticut, the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Prospects Hockey League announced that they have named Sports Medicine Specialist, Angelo Ciminiello, M.D., of OrthoConnecticut as the team physician.

Dr. Angelo CiminielloDr. Angelo Ciminiello is board-certified in orthopedic surgery, fellowship-trained in sports medicine, and has worked as the assistant team physician to the Boston Celtics and Northeastern University.  In addition to being team physician for Ridgefield and Bethel High Schools, he served as the team physician for the Danbury Titans Hockey Team and is the former Director of Orthopedic Trauma at Danbury Hospital.

As an undergraduate at Providence College, Dr. Ciminiello was a 4-year member of the baseball team and served as the Friar’s Captain his senior year.  Dr. Ciminiello was part of a Big East Championship team and also appeared in the NCAA College World Series Tournament.

Dr. Ciminiello and the rest of the sports medicine team at OrthoConnecticut, including Michael Brand M.D., Edton Ganal M.D., and Ross Henshaw M.D., will provide the Danbury Hat Tricks Hockey Club with comprehensive orthopedic care, treatment, and coverage.  Located at 2 Riverview Drive in the Berkshire Corporate Park in Danbury, OrthoConnecticut is a multi-specialty orthopedic practice staffed by leaders in orthopedic care.

Dr. Ciminiello commented, “We are looking forward to working with the Danbury Hat Tricks and being part of the team.  Our practice has always maintained strong ties to the community and with the Hat Tricks we have found a great partner.”

 

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. It is the combined practice of Danbury Orthopedics, New Milford Orthopedics, Coastal Orthopedics and CT Pain Care. 27 fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians offer patient care at 9 offices in Danbury, Darien, Litchfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury and Westport. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, Darien, Norwalk and Westport. To make an appointment with any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more about OrthoCare Express, please visit http://www.myorthoct.com/ or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).

 

About the Danbury Hat Tricks

The Danbury Hat Tricks, the new hockey team at the Danbury Ice Arena, drop the puck in October of 2019.  The team looks forward to a vibrant inaugural season as part of the Federal Prospects Hockey League. Both the Danbury Ice Arena and the Hat Tricks Team are under new ownership by Diamond Properties. The team’s Managing Partner, Herm Sorcher, is a veteran sport marketing executive who has worked with the Hartford and Danbury Whalers, Minor League Baseball and National Women’s Soccer. Hat Tricks’ season tickets are currently on-sale for $290, which includes complimentary parking and a food credit for the first hot dog and beverage.  To secure the best choice of seats, contact Herm Sorcher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To learn more about the Danbury Hat Tricks, visit the website at www.danburyhattricks.com or call the team office at 203.794.1704.

March 26, 2019

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Danbury, Conn. - The physicians at OrthoConnecticut have once again been honored with some of the country’s most prestigious “Top Doctor” awards.

Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., has recognized Dr. Andrew Bazos, Dr. Michael Brand, Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni, Dr. Ross Henshaw and Dr. John G. Lunt and Dr. Robert Yaghoubian of our northern offices as Top Doctors for 2019. In our southern offices, Dr. Brian A. Bast, Dr. Jeffrey V. Deluca, Dr. Joshua B. Frank, Dr. Jay Kleeman, Dr. Michael Lynch, and Dr. Nicholas Polifroni are the recipients of this admirable award. Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors awards are given to leaders who are nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of American doctors each year. These Top Doctors' medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories—and much more—are screened by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team. Only those doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion. Physicians do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory.

In more good news, the physicians at OrthoConnecticut were also among the winners of the annual Vitals Patients’ Choice Awards. Vitals Patients’ Choice winners are chosen according to the overall rating a doctor receives from his or her patients for the calendar year. Awards are given for Compassionate Doctor, On-Time Physician, and Patient’s Choice. In our southern offices, Dr. Nicholas Polifroni, Dr. Paul Protomastro and Dr. Michael G. Soojian have been recognized by Vitals. In our northern offices, Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, Dr. John Dunleavy, Dr. David Kloth, Dr. Philip Mulieri, Dr. John Mullen, Dr. Randolph Sealey, Dr. Daniel Southern and Dr. Paul Tomaszewski have all won Vitals Patients’ Choice awards for 2019.

The physicians at OrthoConnecticut were also named to the Healthgrades Honor Roll. In our northern offices, awards were given to Dr. Andrew Bazos, Dr. Michael Brand, Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, Dr. James Depuy, Dr. John Dunleavy, Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni, Dr. John Dunleavy, Dr. Edton Ganal, Dr. John G. Lunt, Dr. Philip Mulieri, Dr. John Mullen, Dr. Randolph Sealey, Dr. Daniel Southern and Dr. Robert Yaghoubian. In our southern offices, awards were given to: Dr. Brian A. Bast, Dr. Jeffrey V. Deluca, Dr. Mark Fletcher, Dr. Joshua B. Frank, Dr. Jay Kleeman, Dr. Michael Lynch, Dr. Nicholas Polifroni and Dr. Paul Protomastro.

The awards and recognition clearly speak to the very high quality of training and experience held by the practice. OrthoConnectiut’s team includes specialists in every orthopedic discipline, providing the finest orthopedic diagnostic and treatment and the most modern technique available today.

For more information, or to make an appointment with any of the award-winning OrthoConnecticut physicians, please visit myorthoct.com or call 1.833.ORTHOCT.

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the regional leader in non-surgical and surgical orthopedic care. Experienced, and highly trained orthopedic surgeons and physician assistants help patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. 29 fellowship-trained, board-certified and board-eligible physicians see patients at conveniently accessible offices in Danbury, Darien, New Milford, Litchfield, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury, and Westport. The practice also offers walk-in orthopedic urgent care, 7 days a week, at locations in Danbury, Darien, Norwalk and Westport. More info at myorthoct.com or call 1.833.ORTHOCT.