Maria Flor and her father, Randy Therkilsen on the family farm.

Special gift from daughter keeps father’s injury at bay

Maria Flor gave her father a tourniquet as a present, which he later used to mitigate a serious injury

Maria Flor, registered nurse and trauma coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield, gave her dad, Randy Therkilsen, a special, potentially life-saving gift for Father’s Day last year. That special gift was a tourniquet, and less than a year later, the device prevented a serious injury Therkilsen sustained from becoming much worse.

“We were inside of a big tank on wheels releasing a bearing off of a shaft,” says Therkilsen, who was working on farm equipment at the family shop on March 27, 2015, when the injury occurred. “A piece of shrapnel came off the bearing race and went in my wrist and nicked a vein. So, then we had a lot of blood coming out.”

Therkilsen had been striking the shaft with a hammer when a piece of metal chipped from the shaft, entered his skin and lacerated a vein. After realizing direct pressure wasn’t enough to stop the bleeding, he asked his son, Paul, and another shop worker to grab his tourniquet from his truck. Therkilsen called his wife, Mo, to bring him to the Emergency Department (ED) at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield. Once at the ED, Flor’s mother called her to provide an update and let her explain to the nurses how her dad had the tourniquet.

“The nurse was surprised that dad had a tourniquet,” says Flor. “She asked me if he had really received it from me as a gift.”

While a tourniquet probably isn’t at the top of birthday and Father’s Day gift lists, it makes sense for Flor and her dad. Flor has been a trauma coordinator with Mayo Clinic Health System for more than four years and a nurse for 17. For more of this story see this week's Springfield Advance-Press.

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