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Amanda’s Story

From LancasterOnline.com  (September 2, 2013)

A woman was critically injured and a horse was killed after a vehicle struck the horse late Sunday in Paradise Township.

Amanda Mattern, 37, of Mountville, suffered head injuries in the crash, and was taken to Lancaster General Hospital for treatment, where she was listed in critical condition Monday morning.

Also taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries were Brian Mattern, 41, of Mountville, and two girls, age 6 and 9, who all were riding in the same vehicle.

According to state police, Brian Mattern was driving a 2004 Honda minivan west on Route 30, just east of Black Horse Road, around 11:30 p.m.

Police said Mattern didn't see a horse running loose, heading east, on Route 30 in the same lane, and the minivan struck the horse head on.

The horse hit the front of the minivan and crashed through the passenger side of the windshield, where Amanda Mattern was sitting, before coming to rest partially inside the vehicle.

According to police, the horse had broken away from a nearby gathering of Amish as the owners were trying to hitch it to their buggy.

A road crew from Paradise Township extricated the horse from the minivan before the vehicle could be towed away.

Route 30 was closed in both directions at the scene until the cleanup was completed.



Latest Journal Update

One Year Update

From Brian:  Last night at 11:30 p.m., I looked at the clock and couldn't help but recall the impact of the exact same night a year ago.  We were driving home from the beach on Sunday night so that we could avoid the Labor Day traffic and to be able to enjoy a full day at home the next day.  The rest is history and no details need to be discussed.  They are clear enough in my mind, even to this day.  The images and feelings are still fresh.  This anniversary weekend has been anticipated, not to our enjoyment, as Amanda just wanted to enjoy the holiday weekend without talking about it.  I have been constantly thinking about it the last couple weeks, especially with the school year starting back up and making that cognitive connection with the same feeling last year.  School starting equals accident occurring not too far behind.  Hopefully, next year will be easier and I am optimistic that the anxiety will now dissipate after this weekend.  The girls don't even know that this is the anniversary of the accident.  Amanda didn't want to tell them and I think that was a good decision.  They are doing amazing, blessed with a fresh start to the school year and enjoying being kids.  There are times, however, that they express fear that something is going to happen again, but we continue to comfort them and live our lives.  Kylie's big victory this summer was going to her friend's bible camp and riding a horse as one of her chosen activities.  Although she had some anxiety issues (sickness) before the first ride, she chose to follow through with it and everything was fine.  We are so proud of how strong and faithful she is, facing her fears and pushing through.  Both girls have been strong and continue to live life with a positive attitude and with much anticipation as to what the next day will bring.  We kept busy this summer with minor projects around the house, a couple visits to the beach, and a trip to VA with my family.  This weekend, we decided to avoid the beach and spend time with family and friends at home.  It was a great time and the best way to keep our minds off of everything as much as possible.

It has been awhile since I have updated Amanda's progress and a lot of people have been asking me how she is doing.  There haven't been a lot of changes in the last few months.  She still experiences slowness in her right hand, numbness in her face, pain in her shoulder, and extreme tiredness in the early afternoon.  The biggest obstacle for her right now is that she spends her morning feeling good, but gets tired in the afternoon, losing some ability to think and communicate clearly as well as becoming more clumsy.  Some days are better than others, but she really tries to take a daily nap in order to make it the rest of the day.  This still greatly affects her ability to work for an extended period of time, so right now she only goes to her office once a week for a couple hours.  It remains to be seen whether she will be able to go back to work on a full-time basis.  After being absent from any real treatment for several months, Amanda recently met with her family doctor a couple times who referred her to a neurologist and neuropsychologist to get a current evaluation.  The big question is whether there is probability for more improvement from her brain injury and if she will be able to work a full day without having to rely on some sort of medication or stimulant to keep her more awake.  Although Amanda still has difficulty in these areas, she is very functional, but just in a slower and less controlled manner.  For example, it is frustrating for her when trying to throw a softball, shoot a basketball, or anything that requires precision.  She was an athlete, so that used to be easy for her whereas now it takes more work.  Amanda and I also met with the plastic surgeon a couple weeks ago.  As long as insurance covers it, Amanda will receive scar revision on the left side of her face in October sometime.  It is amazing how much her injuries have healed, but she would like the scars to be less noticeable, if possible.  She still remains very positive about things, only getting a little frustrated occasionally.  God has really been by her side this whole time and has given her a peace about everything.

Everything is really going well overall.  Amanda is looking forward to having the time to get things done around the house while the girls and I are at school now.  The girls are playing softball on the same team this fall, which will make things a lot less stressful.  Alyssa moved up to the 10U team and is doing really well so far.  Amanda and I are helping with the team as much as we can also.  People still tell us they are praying for us, which is just amazing after all this time.  We will continue to need it.  Prayer that the girls get past the fears of something else bad happening to us, prayer for me to get past the anxieties and memories that I have, and continued prayers for Amanda in her recovery.  There are times when it is a strain on our lives, but we choose to focus on the positive.  We are so thankful for where we are, how generous and caring people have been, and what God has done this last year.
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Comments

7 Comments

Nancy Schultheis
By Nancy Schultheis
Thank you for the update. Praying for you all. What a great God we serve, and so wonderful to see how He is continuing the healing in Amanda's body.
Peggy Schulz
By Peggy and Al Schulz
It was wonderful to receive the update, Brian. Amanda, you and the girls have all come so far in one year. I know it must seem like it has been slow going, but slow and steady can be good. Please keep an update coming when you feel like it, and know that you are all in our prayers.
Nancy dombach
By Nancy dombach
So glad to get the update. Wonderful how well you are doing. May you continue to allow God to lead you and everything will fall into place.
Nancy ( I work at Central manor)
Barry Kauffman
By Dianne and Barry Kauffman
We do continue to think about all of you and pray for all of you regularly. We pray that each of you will have a great start to the Fall season and the changes it will bring. Take care and keep looking up!
Mary Wittemann
By The Wittemann Family
You and your family continue to be in our prayers - specifically this weekend. May God continue to bring strength and specific healing to each of you as you continue to serve Him.
Kathy Kambic
By Kathy Kambic
So thankful for you taking the time to update us all Brian. I'm sure even writing on Caring Bridge brings back memories & pain as well so thank you again. I like so many others continue to hold you, Amanda & the girls in my heart & prayers. May the Lords continued healing power & comfort be upon each of you & may any effects from a spirit of trauma be removed in Jesus name. Your lives & the faith you stand on are beautiful. Hugs!
Abby Myer
By Jesse and Abby Myer
So thankful for all God has done this past year and trusting Him to continue to answer our prayers on your behalf! Love you guys and so thankful for the miracles we have witnessed this past year! Much love and continued prayers!!! xoxoxox