On July 12th Ben, a then healthy hard working 31 year old, went for a hike in the Columbia Gorge when a rock fell from the trail above, hit him in the head and knocked him down a 30 foot cliff into the riverbed below. He sustained 7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, shoulder blade, ankle, arm (in two places) as well as dislocated elbow. After being rescued he was rushed to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital where he was admitted to the Trauma Recovery Unit (TRACU). He received surgery on his broken arm on July 14th and surgery on his broken ribs on July 19th where they plated 4 of the 7 broken ribs. After his surgery on his ribs he began to experience extreme abdominal pain and bloating. By Monday July 21st Ben was rushed to the ICU and into emergency surgery to treat a suspected tear in his intestines. No tear was found during the 4 hour surgery but a small portion of his small and large intestine was removed. Ben's heart rate and blood pressure were dangerous and his body was going into shock. It took nurses the entire night to stabilize Ben. He was put on a breathing machine and was induced into a comma. He remained there for an entire week with no clue as to what was causing his body to crash. By Friday the 25th doctors suspected and later confirmed that Ben had a very aggressive bacterial infection in his bowel called C-diff. It was killing off his intestines and causing Ben to go septic. They immediately began treating him with special antibiotics in hopes of killing all this toxic bacteria. After over a week of antibiotic treatment Ben was still not improving. On Monday, August 4th we made the hard decision to allow doctors to completely remove his large colon. By August 6th signs of improvement began and they were able to extabate Ben and bring him out of the heavy sedation little by little each day. After 16 days being in a comma, getting to see him open his eyes and acknowledge that we were there with him was one of the most incredible things I have ever been witness to and a part of.
Recovery has been slow for Ben but he is slowly and surely returning to his former self. In a little over a week he will have what we hope is a final surgery that will reconnect his intestines. As you can probably imagine, the medical bills Ben has incurred are astronomical. My hope is that we can raise enough money to pay all his medical bills so he can focus on getting well.
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