Howard Bartlow

First post: Jun 29, 2022 Latest post: Sep 25, 2023
On June 26th, 2022 Howard was hiking near McCall with his daughter Becky and her family. Towards the end of the hike he stumbled and fell forward, landing face-first in the mud, without breaking his fall with his hands/arms. The impact of the fall caused immediate paralysis in his extremities. Becky and her husband Byron were able to roll him over so his face wasn't stuck in the mud and so he could breath, but he couldn't move. Paramedics were called and Howard was stabilized and carried in a stretcher down the trail to where the Life Flight helicopter could land and transport him to St. Alphonsus in Boise.

Howard was admitted to the Trauma Center/ER and a CT scan and MRI were ordered. It was determined that he had a compression fracture of the C4 vertebra and a spinal cord injury. Howard was unable to feel anything below his upper chest and shoulders and unable to move anything below his shoulders. He was able to shrug his shoulders and he was able to breathe and speak on his own, but it was laborious and tiring. He was taken to surgery and the surgeons stabilized his vertebrae and removed anything that was putting pressure on his spinal cord at the C3-C4 location, and he was transferred to the ICU.

According to the doctor, our spinal cord doesn’t heal like the rest of the body. Dead spinal cord cells are not replaced, but damaged cells can be rejuvenated with enough blood flow. So treatment for the 5 days following the accident is to get as much blood to the injured area as possible and hope that there is improved feeling and muscle control.

Other than the spinal injury, there wasn’t really any other damage. Some minor scrapes on one knee is all we can see, and the doctors reports show no other injuries.

Howard has huge challenges ahead of him, and we thank you in advance for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

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