Support Britten's Race to Recovery
On February 27, 2017 around 7:00pm, my brother, Britten Olinger, was in a terrible car accident. He was hit by an erratic driver in Black Mountain, NC. Britten is currently in ICU at Mission Hospital Trauma Center in Asheville, NC.
He severed his spinal cord at the C7/T1 vertebrae. He has fractures in his pelvis/lower back, he has a broken left arm, he has traumatic injury to his lungs, and he has a small brain bleed. He is currently sedated on a paralytic.
My brother will never walk again. Britten has spent the last 10 years teaching athletes how to run. He has been a track and cross country coach for all of his adult life. He is currently coaching track at Montreat College in Black Mountain, NC.
To say that my brother loves to run is an understatement. He has studied the art of running, he has mastered the technique, and he has supported numerous athletes in his coaching career. We have faith that God has a plan; there is a reason and Britten has the will.
He is an inspiration to so many people. He is a true servant to God. His smile, oh man, his smile! His smile can light up the room and his laugh is contagious. He has the ability to make you feel important and he has the ability to make you feel needed.
Britten's recovery will take over a year, and he will spend a considerable amount of time in ICU. To say he has a long road to recovery is an understatement; however, he has all the training to win the race.
Did I mention he has a 10 month old baby girl? His daughter Kolbie is his whole world! Britten is married to Samantha Olinger of Virginia Beach, VA. They have a precious family of 3 dogs and a sweet baby girl.
We are asking for your help. Please consider donating to help Britten win the race! He has been training his whole life, and God has placed the toughest road in front of him. I have complete faith my brother is strong enough, because he is #brittenstrong.
The money will be used to support his wife, Samantha, and baby girl, Kolbie. It will be used to cover surgical costs, hospital bills, and travel expenses. The money will also be used to accommodate the requirements Britten will need with his injuries.
"Hey all! It's your fav, coach o! Sorry it's been so long since our last update. They have been working me harder then my workouts lol. This week I've officially weaned from the vent. Which means that I now have the Passi Meir Valve which has given me my voice back. Soon they will take my trach out. Medically I'm moving fast which will help my rehab. Long road ahead but thank you for supporting us and your continued prayers. I'll be back soon enough. " -Coach O and Sam
We were blessed to be able to help Sam give Britten a much needed hair cut (the buzzed head is back) and a shave (he looks 10 years younger).
This week, Britten has finally started his rehabilitation! He spends his days with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. He is staying busy and he is working hard. Yesterday, PT was able to get him on the mat and stretch him. OT is working with Britten gripping things. Speech even allowed him to have a little sweet tea (everyone knows us Olingers LOVE our sweet tea!)
Sam said the biggest accomplishment today was he was able to shower!! Woohoo! I know Britten must feel a little better after a nice shower.
Britten is still waiting to for the procedure for his vocal cords; Sam will let everyone know when that procedure will be.
The race has just started for Britten. There will be plenty of hills to climb and valleys to sink, but I KNOW God is working through Britten. Please continue to pray for Britten's strength and motivation. Please also pray for Sam. She is having to learn a new way of life. Please pray for her strength and guidance.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far. You are all apart of this journey. Keep praying and stay #BrittenStrong!
He is off the respirator during the day, but they put him back on the lowest settings at night to help him relax. His lung x-rays improve everyday and his breathing is getting stronger as well. Right now, he will stay in the ICU but the doctors will put him on "floor status." This means he can start REHAB tomorrow. Yay!
Today the doctor also approved to go down from a size 8 to a size 6 trach. Britten will begin trying the Passy-Muir Valve, which will allow him to start talking once his vocal cords heal.
We have made some major steps forward! Thank you for the continued prayers and support!"
Britten will spend time in ICU at the Shepherd Center, but they will begin physical therapy immediately. The road will not be easy, but he has the BEST support!
Thank you for all of your support and prayers. We would not be where we are today without your help. Please continue to hold Britten in your thoughts.
Our son and us met with Coach O on a recruit visit Monday afternoon, apparently just hours before this tragic accident. Very saddened to hear this news. We loved meeting him and talking with him about Track and Field opportunities and about his vision for the program at Montreat. We are praying for his healing and recovery, and our hearts go out to his family.
Dear Olinger Family and Montreat Family, We just want you to know that the Strubles are lifting you up to the Lord. We are so very, very saddened by the news of this tragedy, and we look forward to following Britten's progress towards recovery. May the God of All Comfort hold you close.
Though I don't know Britten directly, I do know that he is a long time friend of Lauralee and Ingrid...both of whom are exceptionally wonderful ladies with hearts of gold. As a fellow parent, my heart goes out to him and his family in this difficult time. The road ahead will likely be tough, but with love and support everything is possible. Good luck, and Godspeed in your recovery.
Nancy, thank you for the updates. My heart is full knowing he rested through the night and had a positive chest x-ray. I will keep praying and sending energy to the family. It was so wonderful to see these photos of Sam smiling so thank you for sharing those as well. Love love love love
My prayers go out to Britten and his family. I am a physical therapist at a trauma center in Charlotte and I see patients with these types of injuries often. So thankful that you have the support of family, friends, and the Montreat community. May God be with you, strengthen, and uphold you during this time of recovery.
My heart goes out to this family. I do not know them personally however, will continue to keep you them close in thoughts, prayers each day. For mercies, strength needed for Samantha and Kolbie. For the medical team at Mission Hospital who are attending to Britten's medical needs.
I will make a donation by the end of the week when we check is deposited. What a tragedy. My only question or comment is are there plans for the remainder of their expenses. Hopefully their will be funds from the person who caused his injuries and his own employer insurance. Do not hesitate to ask for additional help. May God bless him and your family.
Thank you for continuing to post updates about Britten's progress. I do not know your family but read about his accident purely by chance as I was doing some research on the Black Mountain area. This story has weighed heavily on my mind and please know that you are all being kept in my prayers for his full recovery. I made a small donation and hope that you continue to receive the emotional and financial support you need.