My Story

Aaron Carlson is 17 years old, and was in a serious motor vehicle accident on Friday, June 3, 2011.  He was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center with a traumatic brain injury.  Parents are Susan & Greg Bartz, of Maple Lake, MN and Eric Carlson of Cape Coral, FL.  This site was created to keep all of his family members and friends updated on his progress and recovery.  We hope that you visit often and let Aaron know how much everyone cares about him.  We are so thankful for all the concern that everyone has shown for Aaron and for your prayers.

Aaron has just finished his junior year at Maple Lake High School.  He is a talented musician and percussionist for the Maple Lake Band and Maple Lake Marching Irish.  He excels at Math, Science, and computer skills.  He plans on taking college level classes next year. He is smart, determined, funny, and caring.  Aaron's family and friends are praying for a full recovery for him.     

Aaron was on Division Street in Maple Lake on June 3rd, when he pulled out from the stop sign onto Minnesota Highway 55. His car was broadsided by another vehicle as he tried to turn left toward Maple Lake.  We are so thankful that the family in the other car was not seriously injured and we pray that the injuries they did sustain will heal quickly.  We would like to thank the Maple Lake Fire Department, EMT's and Paramedics, Allina Ambulance, the Wright County Sheriff's Office, the Annandale Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, North Memorial AirCare and the North Memorial Trama Center for everything they did on Friday. Their quick response and excellent medical care saved Aaron's life.  We will always be grateful for their efforts....words don't seem adequate to express how fortunate we feel to still have Aaron with us.

     Aaron had surgery on Friday evening (June 3rd) to remove a blood clot in his brain, which went very well.  He has some brain swelling from the injury, which is the main concern at this point.  So far, his ICP (a measure of brain swelling) has remained under 20 most of the time, which is what the neurosurgeon team wants to see.  He is the Trauma-Neuro ICU and is in critical condition but we are hopeful that his condition will improve each day.  

     Aaron has various other injuries also - a pelvic fracture and rib fracture, as well as multiple skull fractures, many bruises and scrapes, and a partially collapsed lung (so he had a chest tube placed to treat that).  All of those kinds of injuries will heal on their own in time, not requiring other surgery at this point.  For now, Aaron is kept very sedated and is on a ventilator to help him breath.  This will continue for a few days to allow his brain swelling to hopefully subside, and allow him to begin healing.

     At this time, visitors are limited to family members and only a couple people at a time.  We know that he has so many friends who would like to visit, so we will let you know, with an update, when he is able to have friends come to visit with him. He will need your support during his months of recovery.  You can reach Sue at and/or Greg at

Update 6-15-11:  Aaron has been moved to the Trauma Specialty Care Unit, room #602. YAY! 
Update 6-29-11:  Aaron moved to 7th floor Rehab. Unit, room #749 - bed 2. =)
Update 7-29-11:  Aaron came home today!  =)  He will continue to have outpatient therapies for Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy the rest of the summer.
**Update 9-6-11:  Aaron started his senior year with the rest of his classmates!

Benefit Account:  Aaron's Aunt Heidi and Uncle Chris helped open a trust/benefit account for the funds from those who wish to help Aaron and our family with expenses.  Here is the info from Chris, who will be the administrator of the account:
  • Write a check to "Aaron Carlson Benefit Fund" and send it to Chris Lindholm at: 1116 Woodland Trail, Northfield, MN  55057.
  • Go to any Wells Fargo Bank and ask to deposit into the benefit fund for Aaron Carlson under Chris Lindholm's name.  (You have to give Chris Lindholm's name to do this.)


Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry, "Interview Link".

Here is the link to Aaron's interview with KARE 11:  :) Read more

Kristin Rakke signed Aaron's Guestbook.

Congratulations to you, Aaron, on your Academic All-Star honor and to all of your family on working together to help you to recover from your accident.  I'll look forward ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry, "Surprise!".

Aaron was surprised at school on Tuesday this week by KARE 11!Early in the school year, Mrs. Sloneker (one of Aaron's teachers and the guidance counselor at Maple Lake) ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry, "Senior Prom".

Aaron had a great time at his senior prom last weekend.  His girlfriend Misa came back to visit from Prague, so that made it a memorable night for him.  :)Aaron has ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry.

Aaron passed his last eye exam last week with flying colors - so no more visits for a year. YAY. The double vision is very minimal now, and usually occurs only when he is ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry, "Happy Birthday!".

Just wanted to wish my Aaron a Happy 18th Birthday!  I am very proud of Aaron.  He is a kind, compassionate, intelligent young man with a great sense of humor.  He's ... Read more

Aaron Carlson posted a new journal entry, "Happy New Year - My Turn".

I don't have much to say... Looks like my mother did that already! But I DO want to say, she's completely right. Don't take things for granted, love every minute of every ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry, "Happy New Year".

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."     ~Robert BraultAs 2012 begins, I was thinking about the ... Read more

Sue Bartz posted a new journal entry.

Aaron is doing quite well --A "normal" teenager in many ways now, which is nice to be able to say!  I have been reading another caring bridge site the ... Read more

Show more recent activity