Rural postal carrier receives mail after fall


traumatic brain injury tbi madonna rehab
Ron Arens doesn’t let much get in the way of his job of delivering the mail. But an accident in mid-May has temporary put the rural mail carrier out of commission. Ron was helping a friend make repairs to a building when he fell 15-feet to the ground. Suffering a number of broken bones including spinal fractures and brain trauma, the community of Hartington, Nebraska, is rallying around him. Sending him get well cards and notes through the mail as he works hard to recover from his injuries.

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Ron Arens reads through a stack of cards and letters he’s received. “I probably got 70-100 letters from people. I never been around a community that cares as much as ours cares,” he said.
Care and concern being sent in the mail to the man who for the past 32 years has faithfully delivered the mail to them. “I start my day at 7:30. It takes me about six hours to drive my route and I know everyone on it. my route plus a lot of other people in town.”
“Sleet rain snow nothing will stop a mail carrier, said Ron.” It’s an oath Ron had until an accident May 16. He was helping a friend with building repairs when, “I was on a loader and I fell out of the loader,” he said.
Falling 15 feet, Ron sustained numerous injuries including broken bones and spinal fractures. Ron’s wife, Connie, says that day luck was on her husband’s side. “There was a veterinarian on site,” she said. “And he came over and told him, ‘don’t move him.’”
When paramedics arrived, Ron was flown to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, where doctors stabilized him and got him on the mend. Two weeks later he was relearning how to walk at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. “They got me walking, they got me doing all the exercises I needed to do. They are very I wouldn’t say pushy, but they push you very hard to get the goal they want. And they do an excellent job with that.
Connie says while his body needed healing, his mind was also on the mend as the fall also caused a brain bleed. “I called it our 29 first dates because for 29 days I would tell him the same story. He would ask me all about the accident and I would tell him the whole story again and try to get all the details down. The next day he would forget them all. And so I would tell him all over again. On the 29th day, he repeated it to me,” said Connie Arens, Ron’s wife.
During his stay at Madonna, Ron developed some lasting friendships with hospital staff. “With him it was an instant connection between us. He felt comfortable with me, we could talk about his day. It went from him just being a patient to no matter where I worked that day, I’d always stop by and check in on him at the end of my shift. And see how his day went and try to keep his motivation going,” said Alex Stepanek certified nursing assistant with Madonna.
Ron adds, “There’s something about Alex, you want him as a friend cause he’s always upbeat, always something positive to say to you.”
This day boiling noodles is what’s on the menu for therapy. “He really hasn’t had to learn all of the domestic skills so learning some of these will really be nice for me. He can come home and cook a little bit,” said Connie.
“All I know is I could have never done this without the support of everybody around, especially my family. And my wife for being there all the time. That was a blessing to me,” said Ron.

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