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 may never walk again. Britten has been a track and cross country coach for all of his adult life. He began his coaching career at Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, VA, and then he coached at Abingdon High School in Abingdon, VA. Britten then moved to the collegiate level, and after a few years, worked his way to becoming the Head Indoor/Outdoor Coach at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. He is currently the Head Track & Field Coach at Montreat College in Black Mountain, NC.
To say that my brother loves to run is an understatement. Britten achieved many achievements on the track in high school as well as running cross country in college at The University of Virginia College at Wise in Wise, VA. He has studied the art of running, he has mastered the technique, and he has positively impacted 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. Britten has the ability to make you feel important and he has a personality that draws you to want to know him.
My brother has a higher purpose than to simply coach track. My brother uses his life to lead others to God. Every person he meets can sense the "good" surrounded by my brother. For this tragedy to happen to a man of God, assures us that there is a plan for Britten far greater than our own understanding.
Britten's recovery will take years and his entire life will be changed forever. He will also spend a considerable amount of time in ICU and will be sent to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA for rehabilitation. He has a long road to recovery; however, he has all the training to win the race.
Did I mention he has a 10 month old baby girl and another baby on the way? His daughter Kolbie is his whole world and his wife is due in October 2017! Britten is married to Samantha Olinger of Virginia Beach, VA. They have been together since 2009 and they were married in 2014. They live an active lifestyle and even have 3 large dogs.
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. If you feel lead, share this story with others at your work, church, and social media.
The money will be used to support his pregnant wife and his precious daughter. 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; including a home renovation in order to make their house wheelchair accessible, as well as a wheelchair-friendly van.
Britten recently traveled to Charlotte NC. to get one more opinion about his left shoulder injury (Brachial Plexus). Britten knew going in it may not be what he wanted to hear, but wanted to make sure. He discussed options but ultimately came to the conclusion that the left arm is permanently paralyzed.
The impact was so great the seatbelt dug in and ripped two of the four nervous from Britten's spine. The injury was not noticed until a few days after the accident when Britten's wife noticed how large his shoulder had become from swelling and fluids. At that point, it was too late.
Now Britten has closure and will continue move forward.
In other news, we recently were able to purchase Britten a FES bike in order to help exercise and build strength in Britten's legs/body. The bike uses electrical pulses to pedal a stationary bike. This is a big deal and we are excited to be able to help Britten get stronger. To learn more about the bike, you can visit: https://myolyn.com/index.php/products/myocycle-home
Thank you to everyone that continues to support Britten and his wife. This has been a long road, but Britten continues to fight. He is not done healing, and any help is greatly appreciated. Britten continues to have medical bills and medical expenses. God bless you all!
Britten enjoyed his first track meet back last weekend. He absolutely can’t wait to get well enough to go to all of the meets that he can this year.
Unfortunately, as much as we tried, our daughter got a little cold and gave it to her daddy (life with toddlers and a Daddy's girl). Because his lungs were still healing from his last bout of pneumonia, his immune system is weak.
Britten was admitted to the hospital this past Tuesday night for the rhino virus and an early case of pneumonia (thankfully we caught both very early). He is doing well; however, on top of being sick, we are now battling with 3 pressure wounds he has developed while in the hospital.
We are working with the hospital to figure out the best way to heal these without them getting worse. Any prayers for the quick healing of these wounds would be very much appreciated.
Life this past year hasn’t been the easiest for us, but as we come closer and closer to the 1 year anniversary of the accident (February 27th) we can’t help but look back and realize how lucky and loved our family has been.
Thank you everyone for the continued support and prayers for us they have made our hurdles a little easier for us to handle."
We have not posted the results of the EMG because we are not sure if the right area was tested. So, we may
make a trip to Atlanta for another test. Either way we currently have a plan in place for the arm. Our prayer is that whatever direction we are sent for the arm that it's the right one."
Thank you for the continued support and following along with Britten's Race to Recovery. Without you, none of this would be possible. We love you! God bless you all and stay #BrittenStrong! ❤️
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.