Benefit meal planned for Waln; recovery continues

     It’s been a month and a half since Beau Waln was in a serious ATV accident, and throughout that time community support has been huge. This weekend will be another opportunity for Holyoke to show its support. Saturday, Oct. 14, from 5-7 p.m., there will be a benefit meal at the Phillips County Event Center.
     The meal is being sponsored by the Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department and Zion Lutheran Church, both of which Waln is actively involved in. Though he’s been limited to what he can do with the church and HVFD since his accident, Waln said he’s appreciated visits from his fellow firefighters, church members and Pastor Gary Rahe. “God’s got my back and always has,” Waln said.
     Since the Aug. 27 accident, Waln has already made some big progress. A couple weeks ago he had 60 staples removed from the back of his head, and that is healing nicely. He was recently cleared to start doing some walking and has regained some of the feeling in his lower extremities.
     Waln explained that swelling on his spinal column is what’s causing the numbness, and as it goes down, he’s expected to continue to regain feeling. Three broken ribs are healing, and his neurologist is pleased with his progress, reporting no brain damage.
     Nine vertebrae were broken, and Waln is in a full brace. A Nov. 25 appointment is scheduled to check his progress. If things look good, he should be released from the upper body brace. If not, they’ll be looking at surgery to fuse vertebrae. In the meantime, it’s a matter of waiting and doing physical and occupational therapy.
     Waln expressed his admiration for the emergency responders from the sheriff’s office and EMS, as well as those who were there with him during the accident. They kept a cool head under pressure and made a judgment call that Waln believes saved his life.
     Of course during the weeks of recovery, Waln has relied heavily on the support of his family. “My wife has been my angel,” he said of Carrie. He also emphasized how much help his parents, Dan and Teri, have been, opening their home to him throughout the healing process. Countless people have cooked meals for him, and Waln is especially appreciative of help and encouragement he’s received from the men in his Bible study and their wives.
     A hospital bed provided by the Lions Club has helped keep him comfortable, as he is still coping with near-constant pain, and phone calls, messages and visitors have kept him in good spirits.
     Not one to spend his time idly, Waln is looking forward to returning to work for Phillips County road and bridge department, which has been quite supportive throughout the healing process. An upcoming appointment scheduled for Oct. 19 will determine whether he’s ready to return for limited duty. Even getting to do some desk work will be a welcome change, he said.
     In addition to Saturday’s meal, donations are being accepted at First Pioneer National Bank for Beau Waln, c/o Zion Lutheran Church.

Holyoke Enterprise

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