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Aaron’s 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 susanbartz@yahoo.com and/or Greg at bartzbuilt@yahoo.com.

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.)

Latest Journal Update

Moving On...

Aaron’s been busy moving on with his life. We celebrated his high school graduation with family and friends at his graduation open house on June 10, 2012. He’s worked at Wal-mart this summer part-time, as well as helping Greg with some granite jobs. He purchased a used car in July so that he can travel to work and school. This past Monday he started college at St. Cloud State University. He’s currently taking pre-calculus math, an English writing class, a computer class, and he’s playing something called “The Rack” for the Husky Sports Band. The Rack is some sort of big percussion instrument with lots of different sounds on it, and he’s hoping to mount his keyboard on it as well once they build a support for it. Aaron says it’s a lot of work pulling it onto the field and back, especially since the weather has been so warm lately. He’s sticking to 12 credits this first semester to see how it goes. Between work and classes and band practice or performances, he was pretty tired by Friday!

I’ve been thinking for awhile now that it was time to move forward. I’m planning on ordering a book from Caring Bridge from his site entries, so that Aaron can look back on the last year should he want to and to re-read all the wonderful messages of love and support some day…but we don’t plan on continuing to update here. Aaron doesn’t feel the need to – and this was his story and a way inform others about his recovery when he could not. He just wants to live his life now, and to be like everyone else. It’s time to concentrate on all of the things Aaron can and will do. We’ve tried over the past year to make our entries positive, while still allowing people to see Aaron’s struggles and then his growth and his accomplishments. Everyone has challenges to overcome in their lifetime, and this is just one of Aaron’s. I’ve always felt that if you focus on what you don’t have, what you wish was different, or what you feel that you’ve lost…that is where your energy goes. It’s sometimes the easiest thing to do, but it doesn’t make you feel any better or uplift anyone else.

Things are still challenging for Aaron in some ways, but I have no doubt he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do. I know he is grateful for the chance to do them. We hope that he continues to improve and that he knows what a gift he’s been given. And what a gift he is to us. Thank you to everyone for supporting Aaron throughout his recovery. Sue

“There are blessings every day… find them…create them…treasure them.”