KIRSTEN CHRISTENSEN

First post: 7/9/2017 Latest post: 8/7/2017
An Accident and Near Drowning

Kirsten was enjoying lunch around a picnic table with her drumming friends Saturday July 1, 2017 at a restaurant in Taylors Falls, Minnesota.An SUV was having trouble backing out of the restaurant's parking spot and accidentally backed into Kirsten's picnic table (at some speed). Kirsten and her friend Lauren, who was sitting next to Kirsten, were severely injured. After the commotion of the accident had settled, Kirsten was found by Stu, a dear friend, underneath the back end of the SUV submerged in a culvert which contained dirty water. The SUV's back axle prevented Stu from holding Kirsten's upturned face out the water. Stu yelled for help and a jeep with a tow-rope attempted to pull the SUV off of Kirsten. The smaller jeep was not up to the task.  Stu screamed for help and Lauren's husband (Dave) plus a number of bystanders jumped into the culvert and lifted the back end of the SUV off of Kirsten. Stu and Dave dragged Kirsten out of the culvert and up onto the bank. Kirsten was unconscious and turning blue; her heart had stopped.

Two passersby who knew CPR immediately began working on Kirsten: one administering CPR, the other giving Kirsten mouth-to-mouth; friend Stu held Kirsten's hand and counted out-loud for the pulsing rhythm of the CPR motions. Within a minute or two, Kirsten's heart began working.

An ambulance arrived and Kirsten and Lauren were driven a mile or so to a waiting helicopter which airlifted them to Regions Hospital in St Paul, Minnesota.

At some point a ventilator (which moves "breathable air into and out of the lungs") was inserted into Kirsten's lungs. While in Regions' Emergency Room care, Kirsten was given a head-to-toe CAT scan: no broken bones -- simply amazing -- and no internal bleeding. Her lungs, however, had been severely compromised.

Kirsten has now been in Regions Hospital SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit) since last Saturday (7/1/17) evening. She is very s-l-o-w-l-y recovering.

Kirsten -- 
- is still on the ventilator,
- is kept under sedation to allow the ventilator to do its work,
- is on an antibiotic for a bacterial infection,
- undergoes Respiratory Therapy (to extract the "pond water" from her lungs) four times a day,
- receives nutrition via a feeding tube,
- responds to visitors short stays by opening her eyes, or not (depending on the level of sedation),
- receives round-the-clock care from the superb Regions Hospital SICU staff.

Just yesterday (7/8/17) the drain tube from her left lung (which was inserted the evening of July 1) was removed as the drainage had ceased! (Removing tubes is a Good Thing.)

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