Regan Gittlein headed home this week
It’s all smiles among the Gittlein family of rural Chase County.
The family’s oldest son, 19-year-old Regan, is scheduled to come home today (Thursday) from Colorado, where he’s been hospitalized since a July 16 vehicle accident near Sterling.
“We look forward to coming home,” said Regan’s mom Amy on Tuesday.
After several weeks at a Greeley, Colo., hospital, Regan was moved a week and a half ago to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital in Johnstown where he made good progress.
Amy said home health will help Regan for a couple of weeks and then he will continue with outpatient physical therapy.
His trach has been removed and the chin reconstruction has been successful, she said. Western States Burn Center rebuilt his chin with a product called PriMatrix, a cattle byproduct. She said the harvested cattle cells were layered into his wound and they have bonded with the remaining cells Regan had maintained.
“It successfully filled in the gap left by the dead cells from being prone for so long. He will not need a skin graft as his own skin has begun to regrow over the wound,” she said. “A pretty amazing process.”
Regan is still lacking some strength, she said, but is walking with help from a cane or walker.
She said they will be following up with his neurosurgeons in two weeks for an update on his neck progression.
Regan suffered multiple injuries from the early morning one-vehicle accident west of Sterling. As it rolled, he was thrown from the pickup he was driving.
His injuries included three fractured neck vertebrae, 80 percent of his ribs on the left side were broken, his sternum was broken, three ribs on his right side were fractured and he sustained numerous lung contusions.
He also sustained some kidney damage, as well as several fractures in the thoracic area of his back, along with cuts on his arms, some of which required stitches.
Later, after some of the swelling subsided, doctors also discovered some diaphragm damage.
Regan, a 2016 graduate of Chase County Schools, finished his freshman year at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling this spring, and was completing a summer internship with Cardinal Charolais in Merino, Colo., at the time of the accident.
Benefit Sept. 16
A Sept. 16 benefit dinner and silent auction for Regan and his family is being organized.
Serving of the pulled pork and hamburger dinner will start at 6 p.m. at the new expo building on the fairgrounds. Free will offerings will be accepted with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Gittleins, according to organizers.
A silent auction is also being held as part of the event. Anyone interested in donating an auction item is asked to contact the Chase County Extension Office, 308-882-4731, by Monday.