Kurt is 56 years old and last 8/2/15 he was traveling to his lake home when he was run off of the road by a lady in a hurry on her way to church. She did not stop and he was left in a rural area until someone came along and discovered him.
As a result of the accident he was left paralyzed, unable to move his lower extremities and having only gross movement of his arms. He made his living as an architect and with his skill of detail and drawing he was able to describe the car that ran him off the road. After a lengthy hospital stay he was released and had been going to rehab in Louisville regularly where he was doing very well. Unfortunately he recently got pneumonia and since being hospitalized for that, he will now have to restart his rehab from the beginning.
He has been accepted at Shepherd Center in Atlanta which is renowned for its treatment, research and rehab for patients with spinal cord injuries. Both Kurt and his wife Anita are so excited for this opportunity. They have several very caring friends who have contacted us about transporting him down to Atlanta. They have a great support system.
As I spoke with his night shift nurse this morning, he tells me what a great guy Kurt is and how he wishes him the best. Kurt has definitely made quite an impact on the staff here. As we enter his room only an hour later Anita and the staff are tying up loose ends and getting him ready. Anita has been caring for him at home and does an amazing job. We load up and quickly return to the airport where Hal prays prior to boarding the aircraft.
Once on board Nellie, Kurt is very tired and we allow him to sleep as we chat with Anita.
They have 2 children, a son 22 years old and in college and a 14 year old daughter with today being her first day of high school. She will be cared for by Anita’s sister while they are in Atlanta. Anita’s excitement is infectious during the flight and we enjoyed wonderful conversation and several laughs with her.
She and Kurt have been married for 29 years, funny thing was she could not remember how long and had to ask Kurt who did not skip a beat when he answered. At one point she said, “I just can’t believe that this is finally happening, someone needs to pinch me.” at that point John reached over and gently pinched her causing us all to laugh.
During our ambulance ride in Atlanta, Kurt was more awake and we could see his excitement as well. Anita was literally on the edge of her seat in search of Shepherd as we drove along. I assured them what a great place they were going to. Once we arrived we were greeted and escorted to his room where we were immediately surrounded by staff including a doctor who eagerly began their assessment of Kurt.
They are very attentive there. Their hallways are filled with artwork done by patients both past and present, they are wide, welcoming and most definitely handicap accessible. The patients are all wheeling around in different types of wheelchairs made specifically for them. It is wonderful to observe how they and their families are caring for one another and to see how they have been given back many freedoms that many thought they may never again have.
They are “living life.” I know that both Kurt and Anita will do very well here and are highly motivated to do so. They are prepared to stay as long as necessary and are hopeful that they will be able to make the drive back home together when the time comes.
I cannot wait to share with you how they are doing. Today was a great day and as always a greater blessing to us to serve!!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:15
AND HE DIED FOR ALL, THAT THOSE WHO LIVE SHOULD NO LONGER LIVE FOR THEMSELVES BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM AND WAS RAISED AGAIN.
Thank you to Hal, Jay, Eric and John for sharing this mission with me.
Many blessings and may the God of peace and mercy be with each of you.
Shelli Engle RN