Carl Byington is one of only about 100 people in the world to run a marathon on all seven continents. With every passing mile, Carl has accomplished something doctors thought he’d never be able to do.
Carl, 52, was critically injured during a 2003 rock climbing fall in West Virginia. He shattered a number of bones in his right leg, leaving him unable to walk for nine months and requiring a number of surgeries.
Knowing Geisinger from living in Pennsylvania at the time, he requested he be transported to Geisinger Medical Center for his care following the fall. He was flown to GMC by Life Flight. Doctors initially told him that they believed he would no longer be able to live an active lifestyle, as he did before, because of the injury.
Carl returned to the area in May 2018 and was able to reunite with Geisinger orthopaedic trauma surgeon Dr. Jim Widmaier, whom he credits with not only allowing him to walk again, but enabling him to run hundreds of miles around the globe.
“When people ask me why I have gone around the world to run marathons on all seven continents, I tell them about the time I was unsure if I would ever walk again or even keep my right foot,” Carl said.
While at GMC, Carl also had the opportunity to visit with patients who recently underwent surgeries. He and Chairman of Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery Dr. Michael Suk, spent time visiting with patients and sharing Carl's recovery story.