But while that money went a long way toward covering her ambulance ride and her visit to the ER, it was far short of the $70,000 Krause needed for surgery. Wilms had an answer. She knew of a state program called the Colorado Indigent Care Program that pays for medical procedures for residents who meet certain income requirements, and she helped Krause enroll, even driving her to appointments with the program's financial-assistance counselor.

"Kimmy started advocating for me right away," Krause says. "She took time out of her day and went with me to make sure I understood all of the paperwork and the process."

Two weeks later, Wilms began what would be her most complicated ankle repair to date. "We knew her fibula was in a few pieces, but we didn't expect seven tiny pieces," Wilms says. Krause describes what the surgeons found inside her ankle as "bone shards and dust." Although Wilms and the doctors who were assisting her patched the bones back together the best they could, there were a few small pieces that couldn't be reattached. Krause took them home in a doggie bag; she says a skater on the New York City team Gotham Girls Roller Derby has promised to make her a Flintstones-style necklace out of the bone shards.

Caitlin “Muffin” Krause suffered a horrifying ankle injury last year
Caitlin “Muffin” Krause suffered a horrifying ankle injury last year
Kim “Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang” Wilms (left) and Krystal “Gator Dunn” Sprouse have skated together for several years.
Kim “Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang” Wilms (left) and Krystal “Gator Dunn” Sprouse have skated together for several years.

Krause actually needed two surgeries to fix her ankle, and Wilms performed both. "After the second surgery, we got a massive snowstorm and my pain meds were not strong enough, and they were making me sick," Krause says. "She came to the house where I was staying, in the snowstorm, to write me a new prescription for something that would work." Even now, Krause says, "she texts me every week and asks about me and sees how things are doing."

Krause is now recovering in Texas, where she has family. But she hopes to return to Colorado — and to roller derby. Though she may never compete again, she says she'll always be involved, perhaps as a volunteer or referee. "There's no way that after everything everybody did for me that I would not do it," she says. "It's fun. It's like a family."

And Wilms is a big part of that. "People still have an image of [roller derby] that detracts from her sense of being a professional," Krause says. "But I don't think she cares. Her concern is being the best doctor she can be and helping her friends and living the best life that she can. It might take the world a while to come around to it, but I think she's going to be very successful."

**********

If Wilms's reputation isn't enough to draw in broken and battered skaters, she now has excellent advertising: a fresh tattoo above Sprouse's surgery scar that says "Dr. Bang Bang was here."

The tattoo was Sprouse's idea. "Initially, what I wanted was an 'X' and then Kimmy's signature" along the line of the scar, she says. "But Kimmy was like, 'Gator! You can't do that!' and was so embarrassed about it.... I'm like, 'Kimmy, I don't think you understand. You put my foot back on my leg.' I needed that, and I really appreciate it, and this is what I want to do."

So Sprouse came up with a compromise: the words "Dr. Bang Bang was here" in Wilms's handwriting and an arrow pointing to the four-inch scar that runs vertically down the side of her ankle. On a Thursday night in early May, Sprouse and Wilms met up at a tattoo shop in Boulder where another Dolls skater, Amanda "The Swiss Missile" Sharpless, is an artist.

As Wilms watched and a derby photographer snapped pictures, Sharpless inked the doctor's neat, girlish handwriting into her teammate's leg. "It's like surgery," Wilms noted, a huge smile on her face as she leaned in close.

"No," Sprouse said, "because in surgery you wouldn't let me stay awake and talk to you."

Over the buzz of the tattoo gun, the skaters traded injury war stories, chatted about the upcoming weekend's bout and joked about "boob tagging," a game whose rules are just what you'd imagine. When the tattoo was finished, a beaming Wilms dug into her bag.

"I brought my scalpel so I can do your toe," she told Sprouse.

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11 comments
lcomer51
lcomer51

Dr. Wilms treated my big toe injuries and was simply the most caring, compassionate and knowledgeable podiatrist.  I have diabetic feet issues, injured both feet while visiting here, and she actually made a house call and helped me right away.  She went above and beyond and even cut my shoe inserts to take pressure off the injured toes.   I just cannot thank her enough for her care and expertise in getting my feet on way to total recovery.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "chatted about the upcoming weekend's bout and joked about "boob tagging," a game whose rules are just what you'd imagine."

I wanna play!



Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I wouldn't trade a dozen 'Kim's' for my doctor and friend . Finding a GOOD doctor has cut my narcotic intake by more than in 1/2 !  She DOESN'T greet me w/ a prescription pad in hand . I won't mention her name out of courtesy but  more than likely, she has kept me alive for 15 yrs or so more, on this miserable planet . Just maybe I'll be around long enough to see everyone blow each other up w/ the 'Oh so feared', "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION !!! ", I keep hearing about ......

kimberly.hathcock
kimberly.hathcock

Yayyyy Kimmy! So cool that you got the cover, love ya girl!!!

MOrde
MOrde

I have been under the knife of my teammate DR Kimmy Kimmy bang bang and she did go out of her way in trying to find the surgery less costly. I broke my Left ankle in roller derby as well. My doctor took care of me and even made house calls. Best doctor I have ever had. She is very compassionate, hard working doctor and an excellent skater.  You put me back together, so I could continue with skating but most importantly become a mortician. Love ya kimmy.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Dr. Bang Bang?  I'm just going to leave it alone.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues  ... makes me want to injure myself ...

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  

'Fish' is already permanently injured and out of commission in that 'spot' ...

He'd talk her to death w/ much of his senseless theories & beliefs .

' His plagiarism talents noted ......'  

 
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