John DeTuerk John DeTuerk

First post: Jun 10, 2020 Latest post: Jun 21, 2020

     OK. Here we go. Right now this is probably the easiest way to let the most people know what's happening. 
     Early yesterday, Monday, John was riding his bicycle heading east into the rising sun when he was hit from behind by a motorcyclist who didn't see him due to the sun. I was called by someone who saw or came upon the the accident. John was apparently conscious enough to give the guy my name and phone number because he called me and told me John had been in an accident and I should go to the Ogallala hospital.
     When I arrived, John was semiconscious and could talk. Mainly he kept asking what happened. I could tell by his eyes that he had a concusion. I was able to be with him for a few minutes before the helicopter arrived and flew him to Regional West in Scottsbluff. No one is allowed in the hospital so there was no point in going there. I kept calling Regional West until the copter arrived and then calls came back and forth.
     He had suffered traumatic back and spinal injuries. This was maybe around 10:00, It took a long time for them to get him stabilized and get a "halo" riveted into his skull to stabilize the neck so they could get him turned over for surgery. I'm not sure when the actual surgery started, probably around 4 or 5 o'clock. Before surgery I received some very dire possibilities from the surgeon, including quadriplegia, but he wanted me to know everything.
      Surgery lasted until 3:30 Tuesday morning. The surgical nurse called about every hour with updates, mainly consisting of "things are going well as can be expected. His vital signs are staying good." The surgeon had warned that anything could happen or crash during the "most complicated spinal surgery there is." He came through it with no unexpected crises.
      They used lots of hardware to reconnect all the vertebrae. He can probably set off every metal detector in a 5 mile radius. (my attempt at a joke) They also did a cervical laminectomy, which is opening the back side of each vertebra to decompress the spinal cord, which is of course swelling. After the surgery the doctor did say that he had noticed slight movement of the right hand and fingers. Now it is a waiting game.
We just have to wait and see what happens. He will be in ICU for probably at least a week, spend another week in recovery, and then be sent to rehabilitation. It's going to be a long haul. The worst part is not being able to be with him.
     My daughter Codie and my sister-in-law Krista Cox came Monday traveling in tandem from Kearney and Alma, so that was a blessing for me. Especially when Codie made cheese cake!
Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. You have so blessed us with your love.