Brian’s Story

Site created on March 8, 2021

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On 3/8/21, our family was visiting Granite Peak Ski Resort in Wausau, WI. During his 3rd trip down the morning, Brian lost control and veered into a tree area/ravine on the side of the slope he was going down. He was with my sister Karen and the boys at the time. Luckily the boys were ahead, but Karen saw part of accident and proceeded to help get the authorities called.
Brian sustained multiple serious injuries in his accident, including a compound fracture to his humerus, elbow, scapula, mandible, jaw, sinus cavity, ribs and two area of his spine (lumbar and cervical).

Brian had to have surgery today to set and clean his open broken humerus. He will have to have an additional surgery in a week or two to complete the final repair. Due to the damage sustained, he may not gain full function back on his left arm.

He did get two CT and an MRI today. The spine is a concern, but we are hopeful that he won’t required further surgery or have any paralysis. He has moved his legs, thank goodness.

The jaw will have to have surgery, also. The scapula on his left side is shattered and may also require surgery. We won’t know more right away.

He is currently on a respirator and sedated.

Please keep him in your prayers as he fights his way to heal.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Becky Hammarsten

As per usual at Regency, things were a bit slow for Hammar over the weekend. No therapy, so he spent hours dreaming up ways to get up and go. His mind is ready and determined. Saturday, Julie spent the visiting hours with him. He asked the nurse for a checklist of discharge requirements "because, no offense, I'd like to leave now, he said.  They seemed to have a nice visit for a quiet Saturday. He was talking to her later in the day about being on Jury Duty. Julie thought he might have been confused if he had been watch the trial on TV or something. I shared with her that he really did have jury duty a few weeks before his accident! I was impressed he remembered that. As he was getting tired, Julie thought he might have been fighting sleep because she was there so she pretended to close her eyes to help him settle in. At one point, she opened her eyes and saw him looking at her. He asked her if she needed a pillow. 😍

I took the day off on Saturday to attend this really incredible event put on in Hammar's honor on Lake Minnetonka. Several of Brian's fellow fishing guides (hosted by Larry, Kurt and Trevor) organized "Hammar's Crappie Benefit"! The whole thing took my breath away. The turn out for Hammar was just the most wonderful thing. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this, it was really the most special thing to us. I asked Hammar what he wanted to say to everyone if he could. What his messaged back was -while I might be down now, "I will be back before too long. Sorry I cannot be there and I miss all of you guys." Wesley won one of the raffle prizes and got a guide trip courtesy of Larry Hanson! He told me that night that he wanted to wait until later this summer so Brian could go. 

Sunday was again a pretty quiet day. Hammar again wanted PT/OT to drop by and I had to remind him several times it doesn't happen on the weekends. I really wished I could have just gotten someone to help me at least stand him up. Anyways, his mind just kept right on scheming. Often times he thinks he's nearby to South Dakota. He called and texted some people again who live in Brookings to continue his plan to pick him up at 6 PM that night. Telling me "well, they are damn close!"😀 My job was to keep watch for the doctor. He must have realized that 6 PM was when visiting hours were over and thought that was when all the nurses and doctors left for the day too. Somewhere in his time there, he realized that his bed has a remote controller to move it. He asked me for it on Sunday afternoon. I gave it to him to see what he would do and soon he was sitting almost straight up and lowering his feet. He told me this was the best angle to stand up and use the bathroom. I was tripping over myself to get his bed situation in check! I was able to wrestle the remote away from him noting that I won't ever be putting that in his clutches again. I showed him the picture I took of his broken bones in hopes of helping him understand why he couldn't just get up and use the bathroom quite yet or even stand up and walk as easy as his mind feels. He seemed to understand and let that sink in again. He then promised me before I left that he wouldn't get out of bed when I left in the evening. Something told me that he had his fingers crossed, though.  

Monday's cannot roll around fast enough when you're a patient looking to get stronger at Regency. Hammar had PT/OT in the afternoon... finally! He is still getting stronger and better over the past three sessions- Consecutive or not. To compare Friday, his last session, he walked about a total of 60 feet ( two jaunts of 30 ft.) Today he walked a total of 130 feet! His rate rate went up a bit when he rested half-way, but his pulse oxygen level was good in the mid-90s. Today he had his shoes on and his steps were wider and more purposeful. No need to help assistant his left foot and each step was past the other foot. He is wobbly so still getting support for his team. The walker on the right side was introduced so he did half of that today. When he got back to the chair afterwards he mentioned he would have done a better job, but the people on both sides of him were holding him back and he was afraid of stepping on their toes. 

Aside from his therapy, really the only thing Hammar needs to focus on is his nutrition. We would like him to get that feeding tube out to give him more options for a transitional care facility. He really doesn't seem interested in his food trays (I can't imagine why when he is his food selections are classified at "minced and moist" 😝) , but when reminded he eats some. We want him to show that he eats at least half of the food he gets. He has been consuming about 30%, but 50% with a lot of urging and reminders about the goal. I asked the dietician, Lexie, today if she could try turning down his tube feeding volume to see if that might enhance any hunger. She agreed and will also offer him some ensure drinks by mouth to help too. 

Later this week: Appointment at ENT for his mouth metal arch removal on Wednesday! Friday, he will be having the CT Myelogram to check for the nerves along his spine and brachial plexus. 🙏

Thank you for ALL of your love, support and prayers. Brian has come a long way in the six weeks after his accident. With each day, he heals and he gets closer to being back to himself again. 

With Love,

Becky 

#hammarstrong

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