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Help Derek Recover

$45,006 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 944 people in 4 months
Created July 9, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Derek Sonnenfelt
On July 8th, my brother Derek was involved in a freak accident that resulted in major injuries. While outside the grocery store looking at produce, a driver in a pickup truck jumped the curb and pinned Derek agains the storefront. His right leg was flattened and he was medi-flighted to a trauma center a few towns away. After over six hours of emergency surgery to reconstruct the veins in his leg, the doctors are still unsure if he will be able to keep his leg. Derek is a single dad who works a lot of hours to spend a little time with his son. He has a mortgage and lives on his own. With a house payment and child support, and being unable to work - we are asking our friends and family for help. Derek will likely accrue thousands of dollars in medical bills and be unable to work for an indefinite amount of time. If you can help, any number will help! We love and appreciate you all!
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Had a two month post op appointment today. Everything is healing well. Recent irritation in my hip is just due to inflammation. The x-rays look good and the surgeon says there shouldn't be a reason to see him until spring for another check up. Just got to keep moving forward and take an anti-inflammatory when necessary.
I'm still in the prosthetic process but we are nearing completion. There were a few delays over the last month and it took a bit longer than I hoped but it looks like I'm a test socket or two away from a good fit. That means I may be standing on my new leg in about two weeks.
I've also been trying to get back to life. It may be a while longer before my hip is ready for work but I can go out and see a movie, have dinner and most importantly I can sit in a chair on the back of a boat.
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I've been recovering well. I've been up on crutches a while now and my leg is regaining strength. My hip still has a way to go until it's healed. Although I can walk on the crutches without issue or pain I only need to turn the wrong direction for a moment or dip a little too deep during my exercises to be sharply reminded of the long healing time associated with breaks like mine. It can take up to a year or more for the break to heal to full strength, pain reminds me when I'm pushing too far. As far as my stump, it's healing wonderfully.the incision itself is completely healed and there's no more scabbing. There is still a small area on the back/bottom of my stump (used to be the area above the back of my knee) that still hasn't healed completely. This was an area of tissue that took a lot of damage during the accident and the surgeon tried to remove as much as he could. He needed to use what was left and told me it could take a little longer to heal.
My phantom pain has decreased to the point that it may be only weekly that I take the prescribed medication for it.
I met with my prosthetist today and after the assessment took a few measurements of my stump. Although we are still waiting on approval for the knee portion of the prosthetic he will start on my socket (which slides over my stump) this week. There will be adjustments to the socket next week and likely again the week after. We are hoping the week after that will see the rest of my new leg assembled and me using it to stand and walk.
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Had my follow up visit with the surgeon who preformed my amputation. The incision is looking healthy but isn't quite ready for further treatment to prepare for a prosthetic. About a third of my stiches were removed and the rest were left in the areas that have not quite closed up. I was told to slow down a bit. My eagerness to get back on my feet is likely what prevented my incision from closing. I was a bit too energetic during my PT.
But, everything looks good and is on the proper path to heal up nicely. I go back next weekend for imaging on my hip and to hopefully have the remaining stiches removed. At that point I can start preparing for a prosthetic and I will meet with a specialist to help me select the right prosthetic for what I need.
As far as my pain goes, it hurts, a lot sometimes, but I've managed to mostly stay away from the medication I was prescribed. On the flip side, my phantom pain has been pretty bad. It's annoying when your breath is stolen during a stab of pain from a limb that is no longer​ there. Mirror therapy helps but only as long as I'm actually engaged in the therapy. I was told that I can up my dosage of nerve pain medication. It's helped a bit and we will see what happens tonight. It seems the less going on in my mind the easier it is for the phantom pain to take hold. This makes bed time difficult as I'm naturally relaxed and mentally at ease. I tossed and turned all night yesterday fighting pain from a missing limb. Hoping this increase in prescription will give me some peace tonight. I usually prefer to stay away from additional meds but I need some rest.
Still moving forward, not as quickly as I had hoped but still forward. Added bonus, if the imaging next week shows that my hip has healed I will be able to begin using my left leg again. Hoping for the best, trying not to overdo it.
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Hi everybody!
We are sorry about the few updates that we have been able to give. It has been a lot of waiting!
Here is an update from Derek himself as of this afternoon. Thank you for being on this journey with us! -Nicole

“Hey everyone! First off, thank you all again for all the love and support you've shown. I have been slow to update because it's primarily been a waiting game for the last week or so, waiting on a second opinion from a limb saving wizard at Stanford. After reviewing my case he was able to tell me that it was an incredibly traumatic injury and beyond his wizard abilities. Honestly after spending more than a week in limbo, fighting pain, infections, no sleep, mass medication, bed pans (very humbling), more infections, and excruciating wound care it is actually a relief to get the news that was already expected.
So, in the next day or two they will lopping off my right leg just above the knee.
Yes, it sucks. However there are things that suck far more than this. In a few months most people won't know by looking at me and once I've worked on my gait it'll be nearly impossible to tell I have a prosthetic. If all my plans go well, in a few years I'll probably be better off than most of you because I'll be part cyborg.
The irony at this point is that the "good leg" will need more time to recover than the amputated leg because of the cracked socket. So I'll update again when I have more details”
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$45,006 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 944 people in 4 months
Created July 9, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Derek Sonnenfelt
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