On April 22nd, 2020 my dad, Guy Palmateer, was in a significant motorcycle accident. This is a place I am hoping to keep everyone updated. I will start off with what happened and a little time line of everything that has happened since that night. Dad was exiting from Highway 169 onto 63rd in the New Hope/Brooklyn Park area. When he got to the exit, which is a pretty tight curve, there was a stalled vehicle on his right. When trying to avoid that vehicle he took the curve a little wider than he usually would have, he hit some gravel and went down. It was a witnessed accident. Dad was unconscious for a period of time on scene, until first responders arrived and got him loaded up into the ambulance. He had his helmet and leather jacket on, which he always does when riding. I wholeheartedly believe these saved his life.
He was significantly injured. -Minor traumatic brain injury (non surgical, cleared by the neurologist) -Several severe broken ribs (at this time the number was unknown but now known, 9 on his left side and 2 on his right) -Broken clavicle (non surgical) -Hairline fracture in his pelvis (non surgical) -Minor road rash on his Stomach and left leg -Gash on his head from the impact of the helmet
He was immediately taken to the ER at North Memorial Hospital. After the ER he was taken to the ICU. Dad's recollection of the first few days is none. He was conscious but they were needing to manage his pain to avoid further shock or other issues that comes with that. The first week in the ICU was a battle. One step forward sometimes lead to two steps back. He was on IV pain meds and an epidural was placed for further pain management. There were some complications, primarily with the broken ribs he incurred. 4-5 of the ribs were severely displaced and causing major issues with his ability to breathe and get the proper amount of oxygen needed, as a result he was having issues with his lung collapsing. Of all of the broken bones, these were the ones causing the most problems and pain.
On day 5 in the ICU, the trauma Dr made the decision that surgery, to correct some of the displace ribs, was the best option for him to avoid putting him on a ventilator to get his oxygen levels up. Surgery went good and was a success. He was able to place plates and screws along 4 of the major displaced ribs (I will now be calling him Iron Man). He was taken off the ventilator right after surgery and it wasn't needed or an option any longer. His oxygen levels started becoming better and lung was no longer collapsing. A chest tube was placed for drainage and to ensure that the lung no longer collapses.
Then, despite the ribs having been treated with surgery, he was to remain in ICU to ensure oxygen wasn't a problem and there were no other complications with his lungs. Pneumonia was a major concern.
On 4/30 he was moved to a step down trauma unit until pain is managed without an epidural and IV pain meds and chest tube. He remains there as of today, 5/5, but is making incredible progress all things considered. He no longer has his chest tube, epidural or IV meds in and is working incredibly hard every day to get back on his feet and bust out of there!
The next step is a little unknown at this point. They are hoping he will be medically released from the trauma unit by the end of this week but that will put in two different options. He will either be brought up to the 7th floor in the hospital to have extensive physical therapy to get him back on his feet or a Transitional Care Unit off campus to stay for a few weeks. Either way, we are going to find the best option for him in his recovery.
Now, on personal level, for this. And I know I can speak for all of my family with this part as well. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we still to this day have yet to be able to go and see him. Although, I think this lack of visitors has allowed him to get the rest he so desperately needs, this has been one of the hardest things to go through. When you are unable to sit and hold his hand through the pain. We have flooded him with pictures and good messages to keep his spirits up but still doesn't feel like enough.
I hope to use this to update everyone accordingly. There is still much I have missed so bear with me!