Buddy Thorp - Bear Strong

Meet my brother Stanley Thorp Jr. - also known by many as Buddy Thorp, and his wife Tracy.  I call my brother Buddy because that's the only thing we called him growing up... but when I think about it, it is probably also the most accurate way to describe him as a person.  My brother is everybody's friend and buddy - always there with a quick smile and a helping hand whenever needed.  Besides being a terrific friend and super brother, he is also a loving husband and a wonderful father of six terrific kids and two grandkids. (See video at the bottom)

The Accident

On December 20, 2017 Buddy and his crew were working to put up trusses on a new building in Kewanee.  While he was on a ladder, 20+ feet in the air, he suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground - sustaining multiple fractures to his pelvis, vertebrae, and ribs. He was resuscitated, taken to the hospital and then life flighted to OSF St. Francis Hospital in Peoria.

The first thing they addressed was his heart.  In all, there were three episodes that required some form of intervention to get his heart operating properly prior to surgery.  In surgery, three stents were placed to address the 100% blockage of his artery.  Not surprisingly, Bud went straight to ICU, where for several days they worked to stabilize his vitals - particularly his blood pressure and pulse.  They finally got him stabilized but he remained unresponsive to everything but pain stimuli for six days. What was the cause?  

Further testing showed that his unresponsiveness was not due to seizures and confirmed that there was still indeed brain activity.  They finally determined that some portions of his brain had been impacted by the lack of oxygen during the episodes dealing with his heart.  One area impacted was the area responsible for awareness and awakeness. 

However, just as this was being discovered, Bud began "waking up".  Over the next week Buddy improved a little bit each day, tracking with his eyes and responding to commands to give thumbs up and wiggle his toes.  After 12 days Buddy was successfully taken off of the breathing tube and continued to make small improvements each day. 

After 2 weeks in ICU he was finally ready to move onto another floor of the hospital and begin several months of rehabilitation with physcial, occupational, and speech therapy.

The Future

As mentioned, the tests show that some portions of Buddy's brain were impacted by the lack of oxygen, but it is very difficult to predict how this may play out - if at all.  We are praying for complete healing and we appreciate everybody's prayers - they are helping. Thanks!!!

Given the CT scan, did they expect Buddy to wake up at all? Did they expect him to be able to breath on his own? The neurologists were the first to admit that what they see on the scan doesn't always become reality and are saying that it could take 6-12 months of rehab just to know the full extent of the situation.... so there is a long (and expensive) road ahead.

How the money will be used

As I stated above, Buddy is a loving husband and father of six.  Five of those kids are still at home and dependent on him - two of the five are adults with special needs.

The funds from this GoFundMe page will primarily be used as directed by his wife Tracy to pay for medical expenses that are not otherwise covered, and for any other bills that are necessary to support this wonderful family in this time of need.

Please share our link with others who may be interested in helping out this wonderful family.

Buddy Thorp - Bear Strong

The link is www.gofundme.com/buddythorpbearstrong

Enjoy our video of Buddy and his family.  My thanks to Brock's wife Tiffany for creating the video.

"Bear Strong" - What is the meaning?

Each year the family celebrates Christmas with a Secret Santa.  This year Mitchal (the youngest) drew his Papa's name.  Mitchal had just, the day before the accident, picked out this small bear figurine (shown below) to give his Papa as his secret santa gift.  The family has chosen this figurine to respresent their motto of "Bear Strong". They are believing their Papa will once again be strong as a bear!  The figurine sits in Bud's hospital room where he can see it from his bed.


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Brenda Wilsey 
Jedburgh, MO
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