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Thursday June 8th started out as a beautiful sunny day, a perfect day for a motorcycle ride! Nick does not have his own motorcycle but it just so happened that the company that he works for had a red Harley with a flame package and all for dad to drive up to NewYork Mills to the car auction. The road they chose to drive is a fun, curvy, hilly road to drive and that is when the accident happened at around 10:45am. A curve came up a little quicker than dad was ready for and off the road he went. Witnesses said he had the bike under control and they thought he was going to be able to control and get out of the ditch and back on the road, but the bike must have hit a rock and threw dad off the bike. His body hit a post with the left side of his body and then rolled about 20 times. There were several bystanders who wittnessed the accident so 911 was called right away (blessing #1), the helicopter was available to do a scene landing (blessing #2) and they flew dad to St Cloud hospital. Dad was able to say his name during the flight and was maintaining his own airway (blessing #3). When he arrived in the trauma bay in the ER they decided to put a breathing tube in because of the injuries he sustained to his face.
The wait to see what was going on with dad seemed to last forever. Then the trauma doctor came out with a list of the injuries he incurred. Left side of his face: Frontal sinus fracture (forehead skull fracture), 8-10cm laceration on his forehead over the skull fracture, eye socket and all bones around the eye broke, cheek bone broke, eye globe blown, and a few small brain bleeds. Left clavical broke, scapula broke, sternum fractures and off set, 3 fracture ribs, T5 fracture but stable and motor responses present in all 4 extremities, and last but not least a broken tib/fib on the left leg just below the knee. They stabilized dad and moved him up to the ICU until the surgeons were ready to start surgery.
Nick went into surgery at 7pm. The surgeons wanted to get in and see if they could repair and save the left eye, unfortunately there was too much damage to the eye and they had to remove the whole eye. They then went in to repair the frontal sinus fracture, they wanted to make sure this did not go deep enough to break thru to the dura matter and brain, which it did not (blessing #4). They were able to put the bones back together and he now has mesh plate in his forehead to hold it all together. Then ortho came in to apply an external extender stabilizer on his lower leg break. Dad came out of surgery at 3am and moved back up to ICU. Now it will just take time for the swelling to go down before any more surgeries can be done.
Friday June 9th. Nick was still on the breathing machine with the breathing tube in place, CT did not show any more brain bleeding!! However it was obvious he was in a lot of pain so the nursing staff was in quite often to give pain medications.
Saturday June 10th. Nick was moving his right arm and able to open his right eye every once and awhile. The goal was for us kids to wake him up enough to get appropriate responses from dad so the breathing tube could be taken out. Dad had been breathing on his own all day Friday however he would not wake up so the doctors were not sure he would have been able to maintain his own airway. We told dad what had happened and he teared up so I knew he was listening!! And he opened his eye up a few times so they decided to remove the breathing tube. Nick was able to maintain his own airway and breathing (blessing #5)!!! Dad was now able to use his vocal cords and he is letting us know he is in pain. "Owww" comes out very clear over and over. It is heart breaking to hear and listen to so we talk with him, hold his hand, rub his beard and let him know we are there with him. Sometimes the "owwww" seems to be coming from a dream but other times we know its because of the pain because his blood pressure climb and he will grimace in pain. That is when the nurse will come in with more pain medications. It is a fine balancing act between pain control and trying to wake him up and him being able to maintain his airway.
Thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement, support, and prayers!!