Regan Gittlein hopes to move to rehab hospital next week

There has been a lot of good news for the Gittlein family of rural Chase County, as their son and brother, Regan, continues to recuperate from a July 16 vehicle rollover accident.
    His mother Amy said Tuesday his progress has been amazing, and doctors hope to be able to move him to a rehab facility in Greeley, Colo., next Tuesday, Aug. 29.
    On Tuesday this week, he was able to walk down the hospital’s hallway for the first time with the help of a walker. She estimated he walked about 150 feet before having to stop.
    The goal the rest of this week, she said, is for him to continue to walk and become more independent.
    Because of the way his body was positioned for several weeks, some of the skin died on Regan’s chin, she said. On Monday, doctors successfully performed reconstructive work on his chin, which will then receive skin grafts on Monday next week.
    A trach is still positioned in his throat, but it’s hoped that can be removed Friday, she said. The wound from the trach is expected to heal on its own, and he’s already working with speech therapists to strengthen his vocal cords.
    Because of the significant healing on its own with use of a cervical collar, or c-collar, good progress is being made on Regan’s neck factures, Amy said. Over the next three months, his neck repair will be monitored and if it continues to heal as it has been, it looks like no surgery will be needed, she said.
    She and husband Jeremey have been by their son’s side almost constantly since the accident last month, but both were able to slip home last week for parts of the Chase County Fair.
    While they were gone, members of Regan’s livestock judging team at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., stayed with him in the hospital.
    Upon returning to the hospital after last Wednesday’s 4-H hog/sheep show, Amy said Regan was sitting on the side of his bed, then pulled himself up to stand.
    “It just floored me,” she said.
    After Regan’s move to the rehab hospital next week, they could be there for two weeks to two months, depending on his progress, she said.
    The family continues to get 10-12 cards/letters every week, Amy noted, and they feel a lot of support from their church family and community.
    “It’s just been awesome,” she said.
    “It’s going so well and we’re so thankful he’ll be coming home with us soon,” she said.
    Now that school has started for Regan’s brother and sister, Brady and Jayme, their dad will be staying home during the week,with visits planned on the weekends. Amy will remain in Greeley until her son is released.
    Due to the expected move early next week to the rehab hospital, cards sent to their current address at the Hospitality House at North Colorado Medical Center won’t be forwarded after he’s discharged.
    The family’s updated address will be published next week if the move occurs as planned.

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