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Ken Hein


We were riding our motorcycles on the beautiful Memorial Weekend, 2018. We left home in Chelsea, MI, and headed to the Harley Dealership in Napoleon, OH. In the middle of nowhere, at an intersection of two country roads, our lives changed forever. I was riding behind Ken and there was only one other vehicle on the road. Through our headsets I asked Ken if the upcoming stop sign was for us – it wasn’t clearly visible. He didn’t hear me. As I watched the other vehicle coming down the crossroad, I thought it would miss him. It didn’t. The car hit the right rear tire of Ken’s bike and he went down. He flew through the air and I couldn’t find him. I rode to where I saw him in a ditch and his smashed bike in front of him. I dumped my bike and ran to him shouting for neighbors to call 911. A young girl who stopped called 911 and helped keep Ken’s head out of the water in the ditch. The ambulance arrived quickly. The paramedics quickly realized he needed more immediate help. The helicopter was on its way. I didn’t know how I would get to the hospital. The young girl who stopped, truly my Guardian Angel, said without hesitation, “I’ll take you!”. She drove me to St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo and stayed with me until our friends came from Chelsea. The Emergency Room Doctor told me on a scale of “0” to “13” (“0” being very alive and “13” being dead), Ken was a 9. I said, “ok, we have something to work with”. The doctors and nurses worked on him through the night to keep him alive. He had broken everything but his arms. He had a brain bleed, a partially detached right foot, broken vertebrae, a cracked pelvis, severe facial injuries, collapsed lungs, several broken ribs, etc., etc. He was in Toledo ICU for two weeks. The doctors then thought it best for him to go to the “Specialty Clinic” in St. Joe Hospital in Ann Arbor. Ken’s right heel was infected by the time we left St. Vincent and it took 5 weeks before he could get into the “real” St. Joe Hospital to have it attended to. In St. Joe Hospital, the doctors determined it would be best if Ken’s leg was amputated below the knee to save his leg before the infection spread. I talked with every doctor, friend, and family member I could for advice as Ken wasn’t aware enough to make the decision. Together we decided amputation was best and it took place on July 24, 2018. I’ll never forget when he returned from surgery with no lower right leg. After eight weeks, Ken was transferred to Chelsea Retirement Community for 4 weeks Rehab. After 13 weeks, Ken came home! Then his “stump” became infected. After three months of wound care, Ken was ready for his first prosthetic leg! In the meantime, he had his left hip replaced. Everything had healed and all tubes taken out. Ken got his first prosthetic leg in January, 2019! It was amazing! He could finally stand and pee – who knew that was so important! In 5-1/2 years, Ken has had many legs, changes to his existing legs, and different types of legs. He’s becoming more and more active and not about to quit! Everyone says it’s a miracle Ken’s alive and doing so well. We never could’ve made it through without the love and help from our wonderful doctors, friends, family, and prosthetists. We don’t ride motorcycles anymore and life has changed, but it’s still good. Ken’s alive and we’re so grateful for that.