On the road to recovery

Hamilton class of 2012 graduate Josh Rutgers was involved in a severe car accident on Aug. 23, as he was struck by a semi while trying to pull out onto M-40.

Rutgers “sustained life threatening injuries”, and as further tests showed, a traumatic brain injury.  However, Rutgers has been making significant progress from his accident, has come out of his coma, and is now have conversations with family and friends while staying at Mary Free Bed.

Rutgers was an important member of Hamilton’s publications staff last year, and he often volunteered for assignments when others did not.  He served as a photographer for The ThunderHawk, authored the DVD program for our yearbook DVD, and played a big part in many productions for the Script Writing class among his many other activities at the high school.

On Sept. 13, Rutgers underwent pelvic sugery to help stabilize his pelvis, which went very well. Soon after, he was trying to talk, moving his arm, mouthing words, and eventually was breathing on his own, without the ventilator.

Josh will be on an antibiotic treatment for several more weeks after the doctors discovered a bacterial infection. The doctors say he won’t be able to walk for another 3 months, but he is on the fast road to recovery.

Needless to say, all who know Josh are overjoyed with his progress since the accident as a recent post from Josh’s Care Page  describes below. (Note: to read his CarePage, people need to register for a free account with CarePages.)

“At 4:30 this afternoon (Sept 16) they came with a bed, loaded Josh and all his ‘stuff’ and headed to second floor. We followed behind. We left behind the friends in the ICU waiting room to begin this new leg of our journey. This is a big step and again takes us out of what had become our comfort zone with familiar nurses and doctors. We received warm hugs from nurses and doctors alike and was asked to bring Josh back up to see them when he has recovered. They are still elated over his progress.”

“Josh started off quite slow this morning (Sept 17) with little response. Needless to say we were somewhat concerned. That sure changed as the day went on. He had speech and occupational therapy today. He got the smaller trach put in this afternoon and is breathing through his mouth and nose and is able to whisper to us. Some I understand and some I don’t. When I tell him to slow down and speak louder he does,” another post from Josh’s care page on Monday. “He recognized Buck and Sue. She said, ‘I like your room.’ He said, ‘thank you.”

Within days of Josh’s move out of the Intensive Care Unit, he moved to Mary Free Bed on Sept. 19 where he is still recovering.




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