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Outside of Rehab. How’s Austin these days?

It’s been almost a week since Austin came “home” from rehab. As of Sunday, it’ll be one week.

Last Sunday was actually a pretty high for our family. Besides being Austin’s 20th birthday, it was his discharge day from rehab, and everyone was relieved/excited for that. But we really had more to celebrate than those two separate events.Austin’s recovery

We took some time to celebrate the fact that Austin is alive. The milestones mean a lot to us, but as we snapped a few pictures that day, it just hit me again how close we were to losing Austin. You know how when you tell it to someone else that it hits you? That’s how it went. A couple at the restaurant where we gathered offered to take a pic of our family/gathering. When we told them that yes, it was Austin’s birthday, but that he’d just come home from nearly three weeks in the hospital, and why, the awe set in again.Birthday cake

So–we ate out for a change. We had them bring out the big hat, and I didn’t care one bit that it probably embarrassed Austin. We could have been planning a funeral.

Later that night

Malachi, Andrew, Adam, and Austin took a jaunt down the road to have a talk with a special man. He was the paramedic who helped to save Austin. They had a very good visit, and I know it was with awe and gratitude in Austin’s heart that he listened.

They learned more details that made a difference in what happened that day.Austin’s recovery

(See these posts if you’re in the dark about what happened. Austin’s Recovery Journey)

  • This paramedic is one of two army field medics on the staff of the EMS who serve the area where Austin’s accident took place.
  • Both field medics just happened to be on staff that day. 🤔
  • Not all EMTs/paramedics are prepared to immediately do needle chest decompression. They were, and had field experience, and they didn’t hesitate. This likely saved Austin’s life. Otherwise, he may have had to wait to come to the hospital to get chest tubes (from what I understand). He said his lungs were just filled up with blood. 🩸
  • Another thing we learned–they arrived on scene, and saw immediately that they had no time for the jaws of life, even though they’d hauled it out there. So the whole crew of first responders used brute force and lifted the excavator off of Austin, and dragged him out.
  • They resuscitated Austin three times on the way to the helicopter.

(It’s hard for me to write all of this–I get emotional)

  • His foot/leg hung limply, having both lower bones broken apart. 🦴
  • It was the worst wreck those paramedics had seen all year. And they worried it might be a false alarm. Nope

Let’s just say that everyone was happy with the outcome of that day.

This week

This week Austin has rested a lot. He’s been active in spurts, then has to take it easy.Austin’s recovery

On Monday we saw his primary care provider. They took that opportunity to remove his sutures. That was painful! It took a good 30-45 minutes to get all of the sutures out! That’s not usual, but they’d started to have skin grow over some, so they really had a hard time–I should actually say that Austin had the hard time. He was wishing for that old-fashioned leather strap to bite, but they didn’t offer him one.

Austin’s recovery
It doesn’t *usually* take three people to remove sutures!

Thursday we went to see the orthopedic provider. They did more X-rays, didn’t see anything new, and encouraged him to keep moving things. I will say that she said it might be 6-8 months before his arm comes back! 😔


Starting soon, hopefully, Austin will begin out-patient physical and occupational therapy. He’s to see a hand specialist, and once they narrow down who that will be, we will begin. He’ll have it 3x/week for six weeks, then reevaluate.

Austin’s doing better every day with walking. He’s getting around pretty well with his cane and boot. He’s like to drive, but that’s a no-go til that leg heals. Have patience, Austin!

A Little Buddy

So Truman is a neat little dog of the Carltons. He’s really taken to Austin and is his tiny protector. He keeps watch over Austin and “protects” him.

What this looks like is that Truman parks by Austin’s side most of the day. If someone enters his room, Truman will let you in if your approved. If not, he will guard Austin and give you the eye. Outside, Truman ran off the big mean buoy of a turkey so he wouldn’t peck Austin’s leg. Somehow he knows Austin needs a little protection.

Truman is a cross between–get this–a pug and a chihuahua. So he’s a small guy himself.

True friends come in all sizes.

Austin ventured out for church today, then a picnic afterwards. His brothers played chauffeurs. I didn’t get to see him, as I’m down sick today. 😞 But I’ve been over there almost every day this week, and Austin seems quite comfortable in his guest room with the Carltons. It’s good for him to be around friends and a little bit of activity. But they leave him be when he needs to rest.

I’ll keep you updated here and there on Austin’s continued recovery. I meant to do this before now, but some sickness hit me like a truck this week, and I just had to give in and stay in the bed.

Thank you to everyone keeping Austin in prayer. I still ask that you pray for his heart and for all of our young people. It’s a challenging world to navigate, and we want the best for each of these people who are endeavoring to chart out their future lives.



PS. If you care to donate something towards Austin’s living expenses over these next few months while he’s out of work, we do have the Fundraiser that is active.

Related posts:

Reckless Love, Austin’s Progress.

Prayers for Austin & Homestead Blog Hop 439

Our Boy, Austin. Progress and Updates. (Thursday Morning Rehash)

When You’re Not Strong. Prayers for Austin, Part 2

Ridge Haven Homestead Austin’s Recovery, Blog, Character development, Family

12 Replies

  1. Sorry to learn that you’ve been dealing with being sick, Laurie, so we’ll add you to the prayer list for making a speedy recovery. Happy to know that Austin is continuing to make progress on his remarkable path to recovery … it will take time, but God is still, was, and will ever be in charge. The Great I Am has got this !
    We love you 💕
    Grandpa Dan and Janet

  2. Oh Laurie and Greg…yes, Austin and you both have been included in my prayers for comfort and healing…and now for recovery. Remember, Matthew 6:34…live one day at a time!

  3. Great! Progressing well. Glad for that wound check. Glad for the arm update. Keep doing passive range of motion exercises. Walking today is strengthing for tomorrow. Forward Ho. Keep on keepin on!

  4. I love that Truman instinctively has taken over watching Austin!
    It saddens me to see the look on his face during suture removal. They should have stopped and applied lidocaine.
    I still think he would do better with one crutch to use on his left side?
    Your thoughts, momma?
    Praise God for the blessing of life!

    1. No—he can’t use the crutches. They would put too much pressure on his muscles pulling his broken ribs and on the armpit—which are closely connected to his broken scapulas. His armpit area is excruciatingly tender, and they are right to not use anything that would press into that area.
      Lidocaine might have been nice, but they said it wouldn’t really have penetrated enough. Idk. He got through it but it was hard.

  5. I have appreciated reading this update. Very encouraging in so many ways. So incredible to continue to see Gods might hand working so powerfully.
    There should be a rule that moms can’t get sick. But at the same time, it may be the only way some will slow down enough when needed 😊❤️.
    Prayers continuing

    1. I agree with all of this!
      I hate being sick, but this time, I do feel like it almost was a blessing to get me to fully stop. I desperately needed it. Mom life never slows down. But my body did good to stop.

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️