Thursday, July 24, 2014

Family faces struggle after severe wreck

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 7/31/2013

Cynthia “Cara” Polsley is expected to be released from the hospital later this week after a June 15 wreck left her badly injured, her father said.

“Cara had a broken neck and back,” her father, David Polsley, Ottawa, said. “Originally [doctors and surgeons] had rated her as a complete sever of the spinal cord in the mid-abdominal area, but re-rated it as a partial sever and we’re seeing vast improvement.”

Cynthia “Cara” Polsley is expected to be released from the hospital later this week after a June 15 wreck left her badly injured, her father said.

“Cara had a broken neck and back,” her father, David Polsley, Ottawa, said. “Originally [doctors and surgeons] had rated her as a complete sever of the spinal cord in the mid-abdominal area, but re-rated it as a partial sever and we’re seeing vast improvement.”

Cara Polsley, 27, has been at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., since the wreck, Polsley said, but she’s showing signs of improvement.

“Surgeons told me they didn’t expect to see any recovery since she’s a paraplegic now,” he said. “They originally told me that’s not the type of injury to expect any recovery from. She’s seeing responsiveness in muscles in her lower torso and her legs and things like that.”

Polsley said his wife Kathryn suffered a bad concussion, broken neck, and shattered her left forearm and wrist in the wreck.

“She’s been out of the hospital and she’s had pins in her arm so it couldn’t move,” he said. “They took the pins out and they’ve changed her cast to a splint and she’s beginning rehab for that, hopefully starting on something next week when the pain goes down.”

The June 15 wreck occurred at about 1:50 p.m. when a southbound 2003 Dodge Stratus driven by Jeremiah Horseman, 20, Raleigh, Ill., bumped the rear of a southbound 1998 Chevrolet Blazer driven by Kathryn Polsley, 58, Ottawa, causing both vehicles to lose control on U.S. 59, two-and-a-half miles south of Lawrence in Douglas County, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Kathryn, 58, and family members Geri, 31, Jonathan, 30, Kaytlynne, 5, and Rylen, 3 — were transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence with “injuries or possible injuries,” the highway patrol report said.

Two other family members, Cara Polsley and Seth Polsley, 23, were transported to the University of Kansas Medical Center. Kathryn Polsley was later transported from Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence to the University of Kansas Medical Center. Jonathan and Seth Polsley were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle, the report said.

“Seth’s back was broken, but [his injuries] didn’t have spinal cord involvement,” David Polsley said. “[Doctors] had him in a brace and released him on light duty to return to work.”

Witnesses of the wreck said Horseman was distracted and looking down when the wreck occurred, Kansas Highway Patrol officials said Wednesday. Officials at the Douglas County attorney’s office said Wednesday no charges had been filed against Horseman.

David Polsley said the past month has been one miracle after another. The outpouring of prayers and concern for his family has helped him and his family get through the difficult time. To help the Polsley family, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 401 W. 13th St., Ottawa, is planning a pancake breakfast benefit for the family from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Aug. 17, he said.

“I want to thank everybody for everything they’ve done, for all the care and concern and everything,” he said. “It’s just been overwhelming.”

Though the past month has been trying, and will continue to be difficult, Polsley said, he’s just grateful everyone is alive.

“It was the day before Father’s Day [when the wreck happened] and, all things considered, I could’ve been a father without a family the way things were,” he said.

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