Beth & Rowan Koehler-King Healing Beth & Rowan

First post: May 9, 2021 Latest post: Jul 11, 2021
Welcome to Beth and Rowan's Caring Bridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support, your words of hope, and your words of encouragement.  If you are one of the hundreds of people who currently feel helpless for ways to help, please know your kind presence here is a comfort to Beth, Patrick, Iris, and Rowan.  After you've had a chance to look around, please consider getting more involved by clicking on the "Ways to Help" button found on this page.  Thank you for visiting.

On May 4, 2021, Beth and Rowan fell from a bluff while hiking together in a remote area of the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois. They both sustained life-threatening injuries; including multiple fractures requiring extensive surgeries.  Beth miraculously remained conscious after the accident.  Unable to walk, she remained calm enough to summon emergency services by phone.  Beth, a skilled and passionate Registered Nurse who loves serving others at Carbondale Memorial Hospital, likely saved Rowan's life and her own on that brisk, wet late-afternoon.  Their lives were undoubtedly saved again by the actions of local first responders.  Though spotty cell phone coverage prevented Union and Jackson County authorities from understanding the full extent of the emergency, they knew it was serious.  Using location data from  nearby cell phone towers, they determined Beth and Rowan's approximate location.  Beth's husband, Patrick (Pocky), who was by then communicating with authorities, recalled Beth mentioning days before her desire to visit the location - a seasonal waterfall, while it was flowing.  Union County Rescue Squad, known throughout the region as a highly capable and well-equipped team, worked together with other agencies to provide backcountry care before carrying Beth and Rowan on backboards to waiting ambulances.  After a stop at Carbondale Memorial Hospital for further stabilization, Beth and Rowan were then transported in separate ambulances to St. Louis hospitals.  It was too stormy to fly.  

Beth was discharged from Barnes Jewish Hospital on May 18.  She is recovering from pelvic, ankle, wrist, and hand fractures.  Her road to recovery will be challenging, long, and expensive.  Ironically, Beth's decreased work hours due to contracting COVID19 in October and
also wanting to be available to assist her children with remote learning leaves her underinsured - a predicament faced by many, many people throughout the U.S. 

Rowan has a serious head injury in addition to his pelvic, shoulder, and arm fractures.  Currently sedated and in intensive care, he is in the loving hands of a fantastic medical team at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  His brain needs to heal.  Rowan is creative and funny.  He shares his wonderful imagination with anyone who will listen.  He is loved by many, including Iris, his sister, as well as his parents and their many friends and family.  If you are into prayer, please pray .  If you're into sending healing energy, send some high-voltage healing energy.  

Geno, the former director of Camp Ondessonk, used to say, "Many hands make light work".  He was right.

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