This week's feature, "Paging Doctor Bang Bang," tells the story of Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang, a.k.a. Kim Wilms, a foot-and-ankle surgeon by profession and a badass blocker and jammer on the track with the Denver Roller Dolls. Wilms doubles as the roller derby league's unofficial in-house doctor, assisting skaters with the sprains and bruises that come with playing the fast-paced contact sport. Over the past two years, she's also operated on several skaters' broken ankles.
Some of the injuries were especially gruesome -- and we've collected photos of them for you, dear reader.
We'll start with the most famous photo of them all. It depicts a skater named Caitlin "Muffin" Krause lying on the track in what looks like excruciating pain.
Here's how Krause describes what happened: She was coming up behind a blocker, rapidly closing the gap between them and preparing to do a trick in which she pretends to stop and then speeds away. But on that day, her move didn't work as planned. "That rapid stopping motion basically ripped my ankle off," Krause says. "My foot was backward as I was falling through the air, and when I hit the ground, my bone shattered."
Here's a shot of Krause's ankle after Wilms removed her skate: This is what Krause's broken ankle looked like in an X-ray: Continue for more photos of Krause's injury. From the start, Krause knew she wanted Wilms to perform her surgery. It would be the most complicated ankle repair Wilms had done. Krause describes what the surgeons found as "bone shards and dust." Seven months later, she's just now beginning to walk again.
Here's a shot of Krause in the ER with Wilms (in the purple sweatshirt):
And one of Krause's scar, post-surgery: And finally, one of Krause in her cast: But Krause isn't the only derby girl to have ever broken an ankle...
Continue for more photos. Wilms also operated on fellow skater Krystal "Gator Dunn" Sprouse, who broke her ankle at a scrimmage. Here's how it happened: "I was jamming, and I was out there right behind one other skater, and we just kind of got tangled up," Sprouse says. "Our wheels locked, and when she skated and pushed with her left leg, it literally folded my foot over."
Here's what Sprouse's ankle looked like soon after she broke it:
And here's what an X-ray showed: Sprouse also requested that Wilms do her repair. On the day of the surgery, she changed the names on the hospital whiteboard to read "Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang" and "Gator Dunn." Here's a photo of the two in the hospital before the operation: After Sprouse healed, she decided to remember her surgery, and her surgeon, in a unique way -- by getting a tattoo that says "Dr. Bang Bang was here" above her scar.
Continue for photos of Sprouse's tattoo. On a recent Thursday night, 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, Sharpless inked the tattoo -- in Wilms's handwriting -- into Sprouse's leg.
Here's a close-up photo of the finished product: And one of Sprouse on skates, sporting her new tattoo: Continue for photos and stories of other skaters' injuries. The very first skater on whom Wilms operated was Amanda "Aim N. Buster" Cleveland, who wasn't hurt on the track. Instead, Cleveland found herself under Dr. Bang Bang's knife after a tumble down the stairs that was likely caused by a derby-related knee injury. When she got to the hospital, the ER doctor asked Cleveland if he could take a photo of her broken ankle. She agreed, but only if he promised to send it to her.
Here's that photo:
Cleveland posted the photo on Facebook. Soon after she did, she heard from Wilms. "She called me and she was like, 'You know, I could fix that,'" recalls Cleveland, who happily accepted the offer. Several screws and one metal plate later, she's back to skating.
Here's an X-ray of Cleveland's ankle, post-surgery:
Continue for more photos. The last skater from whom we collected photos is Samantha "Claudia ShankHer" Montgomery, who also broke her ankle during a scrimmage. Wanting to believe it was just a bad sprain, she went home and spent a sleepless night in pain before going to urgent care for an X-ray -- and then calling Wilms to schedule surgery.
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Here's what Montgomery's X-ray looked like before surgery:@MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org