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Sarah Witmer's Recovery

$12,877 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 13 months
For those of you who do not know Sarah was in a serious car accident the night of Oct. 2nd.  She was driving back from Alaska where she worked all summer at a job she loved.  Who wouldn’t?  She was surrounded by amazing people she worked with, Alaskan landscapes and wildlife. She was North of Cheyenne, WY, when she hit black ice.  She lost control of her car, skidded along a guardrail, which kept her from going down into a ravine, and at the end of the guardrail her car rolled 3 x’s.  The state trooper said he had never seen a car roll 3times -leave it to Sarah. By the grace of God, Toyota and all the good karma coming back around to her, Sarah survived.  We are still in disbelief that we are not planning her funeral or that Sarah is not facing life as a quad or paraplegic.   

Her beloved Forerunner gave its life for hers.  The bulk of the damage was to the driver’s door area. There were 2 vehicles behind her and 911 was quickly summoned. Fire and rescue needed the Jaws of Life to remove her from the Forerunner, and it was determined that even though the hospital was close she needed Flight For Life to transport her to the hospital.  Sarah's first helicopter ride and she does not remember it...which is good thing!  

When her brother, dad and I arrived at the hospital we did not even recognize her as her facial edema was so severe.  Her injuries include fractures of her right cheekbone, her left 1st rib, cervical vertebras #6 and 7.  Her right eye swelling needed a surgical procedure to keep the pressure from increasing and causing damage to her vision.  Within 18 hrs. of admission, she underwent a fusion of her cervical vertebrae # 6,7 and thoracic 1.  The surgery went perfectly! She needed breathing and feeding tubes and then balancing her medications to provide sedation and pain relief.

The waiting game began.  6 days after the accident her facial edema had resolved enough where she was beginning to look like Sarah.  On Oct. 12th it was determined that both the breathing and feeding tubes could come out.  Friday the 13th is now Sarah’s lucky day as she was discharged from ICU.  She went to the unit where her best friend is the charge nurse and so Sarah got the best room on the unit.  When asked how she was doing, she replied “big pimping as I got the suite”.  When she arrived she was on bedrest and nothing by mouth.  2 days later she walked 80 feet with the help of 2 Physical therapists and eating a modified soft diet.  Her progress is nothing short of amazing.

Many know that she has been travelling for the last 18 months and it is a "mom thing" to want her to have medical insurance just in case.  Well the just in case happened, I'm so glad that it was 50 miles from home. Sarah has a basic policy, and her medical care costs will be anything but basic! Many of her friends hail from all the corners of the world and want to know how they can help? First, please know that keeping her in your hearts, thoughts and prayers are the number one priority!  But some have suggested the go fund me account.  The money raised will go towards non-covered medical expenses and if there is any money remaining knowing Sarah she will put it to doing good for others.  For those of you who donate thank you in advance!
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1 year ago, I was just about done with my shift as a home telephone triage nurse and was looking forward to Sarah's getting home from her 1st summer of working up in Alaska. She had called to tell me that she was coming home earlier than what she thought. Was so excited to see her. But then there was this phone call from the WY. state police at 11:37 PM MST. telling us that all he could tell me was that our daughter was breathing but that they could not get her out of the car. Fast forward to today. Sarah has been home since Sept. 18th. We were lucky enough to see again in Alaska and marvel at the beauty of this special state. Brian and Andrea went up the last week she was in Alaska and they had a wonderful time also. She worked on a boat with balance issues and mastered Mt. Marathon. So many successes in this past year that Sarah has been able to accomplish. Could not be more proud of all that Sarah has done. She does have another 4Runner with a sunroof, as that is how they were able to remove her from her car. The only thing that is hanging over Sarah's head is waiting to hear if her financial aid application will be accepted. Please keep fingers and toes crossed-the bill is $330,000.00. We want to thank all of you who helped Sarah and us weather this year-from physically, emotionally and financially. We, Witmer's , want to say thank you again for all the support you have shown us from 1 yr. ago all the way up to the present.
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Hello, we are off to visit Sarah in Alaska Aug.15th-24th! We can't wait.!! We will be on 2 of Sarah's whale and glacier tours and then 4 days in Denali to hike and see the wonders of that very special place. Sarah has been doing very well. Continues to have balance issues but she is doing well on the water-they make sure she does not carry stuff up stairs while on the boat on the water. She is enjoying the beautiful surroundings and being able to work with friends. So very hard to believe that it has been 10 months since we got "the call". Trying to figure how best to celebrate that year anniversary-all ideas are welcome!! Many thanks for always keeping Sarah in your hearts and thoughts
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Tomorrow will be the 8 month anniversary of Sarah's car accident. I am going to add a post from Sarah's Facebook page. "I haven’t had very many “I’m proud” moments in this recovery process but the other day was one for sure, Emma Leigh Shrack, Toni Walters and I summited Mt. Marathon. It was a severe struggle but with the help of these two awesome ladies I made it up. I haven’t been so emotionally and physically drained in a long time but it was amazing being up there on the summit. This comes from a woman who has in a coma to 8 months later summiting Marathon is pretty incredible. I am puzzled by her comment of "I haven’t had very many “I’m proud” moments in this recovery process" As I lost count very early on all of her challenges that she has overcome that has made me so very proud of her and all that she had done and how far she has come. We, her family and Sarah could not have done this without all of you-nurses, doctors, friends, speech/cognition, physical and occupational therapists, those who supported us financially, emotionally and all who have been there for us whenever we have needed anything at all. Thank you now and forever from the bottom of our hearts
Emma, Toni and Sarah
Mt. Marathon informational sign
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Hello to all of Sarah's friends. It has been quite some time since I updated all of you. We all just passed the 7th month anniversary of her accident. So hard to believe what life was like 7 months ago. The progress she made in the 1st 2 months was more than impressive as we all remember. SInce then the progress is best described in baby steps and that in the best of times can be frustrating. For most of you this may be old news, but wanted to keep you all updated. On April 24, 2018, Sarah flew off to Alaska. Yes, she flew up there for many reasons. She has not replaced her beloved Toyota 4Runner, and driving still requires a lot of concentration even for moderate lengths of distances. The distance to Alaska was more than daunting. She is now settled in and is living with Emma whom she lived with last summer. along with 2 other girls. She went up to Alaska early to test her sea legs prior to having to work/interact with customers. KFT, the company she works for, needed the help cleaning the boats and other chores/duties and she got to go on the water to see what it was going to be like. She continues to have balance issues on dry land and it is persisting on the boat/water. She is hoping that it will be like last year and will get her sea legs after being on the boat for 1 wk. She is not there yet. Since the accident she has had vision distance issues and it has been hard for her to process all the stimuli that comes at her through driving and life. When she got glasses fitted, was not happy about that as she had Lasik before her Ecuador trip, they put prisms in her lenses and that has really helped her. The weather in Seward is still winterish, cold temps and snow. Yikes can't imagine doing that cruise in those weather conditions. Once again, I want to reach out to all of you and sincerely thank all of you for always being there for us and Sarah during her rehab journey. I could not have imagined doing this journey without all of your physical and emotional support. Again thank you!!!
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$12,877 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 13 months
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