Steve’s Accident

First Facebook Post – April 28, 2012

Excerpts from the Facebook Group “PrayersForStephen” –

On the morning of April 19, 2012, Stephen packed up his truck and headed for Colorado, a place he frequents with friends for rest and relaxation as well as to work on a new business endeavor “Santa Fe Roots Drink.” Right around lunchtime he was approximately 20 miles over the boarder into Colorado on route 159 when (we suspect) he unbuckled his seatbelt to reach for something in the back seat of the truck. When he noticed he was veering off the road he attempted to correct the truck, but overcorrected instead causing the truck to flip and roll eventually landing in a ditch.

IMG_0875Stephen was ejected quite a distance from the truck. Due to the seriousness of his injuries, he was airlifted to the emergency room at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe where the staff fought hard to save his life. After being recessitated a couple of times he finally stabilized and was transfered to the ICU in critical condition. His injuries include three spinal cord injuries (one of which is expected to result in permanent paralysis from below the chest down). In addition, he has a broken sturnum, cracked ribs and punctured lungs. He is unable to breathe on his own and is therefore on a respirator. Stephen did not sustain any head or brain trauma and is expected to make a full mental recovery. For the past week, the ICU staff has worked to stabilize his vital organs from the severe trauma they sustained. Slowly but surely his own organs have begun to take his body over again without assistance (with the exception of his lungs). The main objective now is to remove him from the respirator, and prepare him for major back surgery without putting his life in jeapordy. His back surgery is tentatively scheduled to take place on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.

Today – they removed the heavy sedation that has been keeping Stephen virtually unconcious since the accident. Within five minutes he was fully awake with his eyes wide open. Although he can’t talk due to the trac he was lucid and answering questions. He surveyed the room and gazed at each family member. When he gazed into my eyes and gave my hand a strong squeeze my heart skipped several beats. “Welcome back my beautiful brother!”

IMG_0844We remain in the first phase of the healing process and he is by no means out of danger yet but we are encouraged. The surgery is on our critical path now and we hope he will be strong enough to endure it. If all goes well, Stephen will transfer to a rehabilitation program that specializes in Spinal Cord injuries and will begin the journey of adjusting to his new path in life.

Our Family is in the midst of enduring the most challenging moments of our lives. Although we are all struggling through a myriad of emotion, our love and determination keeps us strong and motivated to face each new day with focus and clarity. We are so very grateful for the support of friends and family all over the country and want you to know that your thoughts and prayers are in our hearts every moment.