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My Story

Welcome to my CaringBridge. My parents and sister created it to keep friends and family updated when it mattered. I appreciate the dedication they had to give others hope and help chronicle the process of my incredible recovery. 

I have continued to add entries to as I was readmitted for surgery to further my recovery, correcting some of my tightest and most raised scars. These have been relatively extensive in so far, giving me much of the range I have lost back, and there will likely be more surgeries in the future, but less and less comprehensive and more cosmetic in nature. 

Here's the story I will tell strangers if they ask about my scars. First of all, I was badly burned (obviously). I was struck by 50,000 volts of electricity directly in the center of my chest and instantly burned alive on 30% of my body; my heart stopped. I was walking home late one night with my friend in Dinkytown, where I lived at the time. I was climbing everything in sight as was in my nature. I have been climbing everything since I was little kid and I even worked at a rock climbing gym at the time. This girl yells out her upper apartment window to us walking on the sidewalk and my response is to climb the pole next to her window, first I yell up "Have you ever seen Peter Pan?" When I get to the top, it explodes! There was no transformer or anything, just the wires touched or something. And I hit the street from 30 feet up while I was on fire.

The most miraculous thing is that my mind is unhindered and I'm still me. When I came in the hospital, a CT scan showed blood in my brain. My neck broke, there was a hairline fracture in one of my vertebra. My heart stopped for 13 minutes and that was 3 days after my accident, when I was in the operating room and they were removing the burned skin. My temperature was dropping and my blood pressure started dropping and all of a sudden my heart stopped! My abdomen swelled with fluid and they sliced me open to release it and started CPR and got my heart started again. My heart stopped in the ambulance on the way to the ER perhaps for much longer than that. Your brain needs that constant flow of oxygen in your blood or it will start losing cells quickly. That anoxic brain damage, In addition to the trauma, should mentally disabled me but the tests they gave me, for example recite an 8 digit number backwards, did not go far enough and I was one of the smartest patients they have ever seen.

The thing I am most grateful for is everyone coming out from everywhere to show support. "I hope you make it!" and "I'm glad you're alive!" Some of my friends from high school came in to visit me because they heard about me on the radio! You don't normally get the opportunity to reunite with people you haven't seen in half-a-decade and say I appreciate being your friend at one point. I really think that everyone's healing vibes, thoughts, and prayers helped saved my life. Many people say that I must be here for a reason or God wants me here, and I don't know if that's true, but it's certainly a good reason. One of the greatest gifts, I have gotten from this accident, other than my really cool scars, is the ability to preemptively tell everyone that I'm happy they are alive with me.


Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Sunday, December 29".

It's turning out to be a pretty good day today.  Sven and I started out watching the Vikings game at the Knapp Center--the game turned out good too.  But we realized if ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Saturday, December 28".

Our family has taken to split visits lately.  This afternoon David and Brenda visited with Sven for a couple of hours.  And I came in time for dinner ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Friday, December 27".

June and I played tag team today--she joined Sven for lunch and I went in to share dinner with him.  Sven is back to his double OT/double PT daily schedule.  By the time ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Thursday, December 26".

The day after Christmas--and things are back to normal again.  Sven is getting awakened early for his 7 AM breakfast.  Not so much construction noise this morning ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Wednesday, December 25".

For the first time in almost 3 months, Sven got dressed and came home today.  But it was just for a day visit.  We picked him up after lunch, got him all bundled up, and ... Read more

Denise Tennen (Ari's mom) signed Steven's Guestbook.

Congratulations on having your first day pass home!  Have a wonderful Christmas. Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Tuesday, December 24".

Surprisingly, Sven had a pretty busy day today.  He had 2 one-hour sessions of OT and 2 sessions of PT.  June stopped by in the afternoon while she was out ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Monday, December 23".

Sven had a pretty busy evening today.  After he finished his therapies and had his dinner, he had a number of people stop in to wish him a happy holiday.  First Nate ... Read more

Patrick McKinney posted a new journal entry, "Sunday, December 22".

Short day today.  I joined Sven at noon to watch the Vikings/Bengals game together.  It was not much fun.  He had his OT this morning and was not due for PT until about ... Read more

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