Joe Johnson

First post: Jul 13, 2020 Latest post: Aug 2, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

At 9 am on Thursday July 9th, 2020 Joe was setting up a siding job for the crew to safely work on the highest point of a 2 story home in Delafield. Earlier he had picked up a 40’ ladder to use to set up the scaffolding and needed his brother Jay to help
Once on the job site Joe was too impatient to wait for Jay to help and decided that he could walk the roof and set a roof jack without the ladder. He figured it was only a 8/12 pitch, he would be next to the chimney and he has walked many roofs before. Unafraid of heights he stepped off the second floor scaffolding onto the roof and walked up several feet to install the roof jack that would hold the higher scaffolding. He bent down to nail in the device and his feet slipped out from under him on the loose gravel shingle roofing. He slid down about 4 feet to the gutter and then plummeted 18 feet to the concrete below. His last recollection was the sound of his bones crushing.
Jay was on the opposite side of the house and when he made it around to Joe’s side he saw his twin brother motionless and unconscious. He called 911 and once the medics arrived Joe started to regain consciousness. He was taken to Oconomowoc Aurora Summit emergency trauma unit. About an hour after he was admitted his son Shane, twin brother Jay and myself (his wife Kecia) were able to visit with him in the ER for about 30 minutes.
Falling 18’ onto cement could kill most people that are 63 years old, so Joe is lucky to still be with us. However, his injuries are extensive and will take a very long time to heal. I think the thing that he is afraid of the most is that he may never golf again. At least he had a fantastic last round of golf the night before to keep him motivated to recover quickly to enjoy his favorite game.
So what everyone is waiting for the long list of injuries;

1 - His vertebrate C6 in his neck has a clean fracture that cuts all the way through and extensive ligament damage on both sides of his neck, he will have to wear a rigid neck brace for the next 6-8 weeks to ensure that it fuses back together, if it doesn’t fuse likely due to Joe moving his neck too much he may have to undergo surgery.

2 - His left shoulder has a fracture and his Deltoid has damage with a pre-existing torn rotator cuff and the neck ligament damage he has lost most mobility and strength with the left arm. Total shoulder reconstruction surgery will be optional at a later date

3 - Ribs 8, 9 & 10 are fractured

4 - One of the ribs punctured his left lung, the left lung in bruised and partially collapsed

5- the left arm just above the elbow had a terrible gash to the bone and was stitched immediately in the ER

6- his pelvis has 3 fractures. One in the right and 2 on the left. This is the most painful and causing the greatest hurtle to recovery currently.

7. the entire right hand is black and blue with bruises

8- the left knee only a scrape

9- the right foot was dislocated and has several fractures, it was relocated but didn’t stay in place even in a rigid boot, so the next morning surgery was performed to keep it stable. It now has about 4 15” pins that go through the foot ankle and lower leg

The first night in ICU was going well until nurse George and Joe decided he was feeling good enough to sit up to get further neck x-rays. Well Joe’s heart rate plummeted and he thought he passed out. The next morning a nurse came in to take a EKG of his heart and we asked “why?” She said he had a cardiac arrest and his heart wasn’t pumping for 20 seconds so they had to message his heart back into pumping. Which is a very pilot why of saying they had to pound on his heart and broken ribs to revive him.

So that leaves his left foot unscathed. I think the foot is just too ugly to be reckoned with. If you have seen his feet you know what I’m talking about.

So, needless to say it is a long road to recovery. We will keep you posted on his progress when we can.

Thank you all for your heartfelt well wishes and offers to help out.

Joe and Kecia