October 15th should have been the beginning of a mid semester break for Thomas Olson. With a 3.9 GPA his first semester into his pre med college program, he was looking forward to 4 days of rest. That afternoon, he went to footbal practice like any other day, but unfortunately, this would not be like any other day. He took one hit to his left flank, and his spleen was shattered like a china dish. It turned out that his spleen was vulnerable due to a case of (undetected) mononucleosis which causes an enlarged spleen.
Unfortunately, despite sitting out the remainder of practice in pain, his injury was not immediately recognized. At the end of the practice, he went to the local hospital, who also did not triage him right away. After four hours of internal bleeding, he was air lifted to a Grant Trauma Medical Center in Columbus, OH.
Thomas had a Grade V splenic rupture; the trauma team tried to leave the spleen in and embolized the artery leading to the spleen. Over the next few weeks, perhaps due to poorly timed decisions and resulting complications, Thomas suffered many setbacks. His lungs collapsed, pneumonia set in, his temperature repeatedly spiked to almost 104 degrees, and eventually they performed the splenectomy anyway. His recovery would still be delayed because of the development of a very large hematoma in the abdomen, and the discovery that his pancreas was damaged during the splenectomy. Ultimately this surgery ended with the insertion of a feeding tube as well as an abdominal drain. With his lungs continuing to fill with fluid, a chest tube was added the next day. As more than two weeks had passed, he was very weak, and unable to move about unassisted and developed a Stage IV pressure ulcer (bed sore). By the time he was discharged he lost 40 pounds, dropping from 213 lbs down to 173 lbs.
As a result of his "extended" stay (nearly 3 weeks,) Thomas was forced to withdraw from his 1st semester in college. He had to forfeit his student loans, and a portion of his scholarship. His parents brought him home to begin his recovery. He spent one month in physical therapy just to help build enough strength to stand up straight and walk again. He is doing well now, and on the road to a full recovery, thankfully!
Although the majority of the medical bills are covered, there will be a significant amount left over (the flight for life invoice alone was $26,000). In addition, the school balance after the adjustments, needs to be paid for Thomas to return to school.
While Thomas was in the hospital, the family lost a month's worth of income to be with him. The family funds have been drained, because the family has already been through a similar life threatening incident in 2009 with the oldest son, that lasted several years and drained all savings and nearly drove the family to bankruptcy.
In order to avoid such a serious move, the family is turning to this philanthropic vehicle to help with the outstanding expenses related to Thomas' unfortunate accident.
Thank you for taking the time to read our cause and considering a donation.
- Patricia Durston
- Tim Young
- Diane Orzel
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