Injured Firefighter Shows Promising Progress
It's been nearly two months since Anchorage firefighter, Ben Schultz, was critically injured after falling off a ladder at AFD and Monday his family witnessed a long awaited moment.
According to his father, Jeff Schultz, Ben spoke a few words Monday which are the first words he has spoken since his fall on June 5. Ben is currently being treated at the Craig Hospital in Denver which specializes in head and spinal cord rehabilitation.
"We're elated. We're praising God that he's coming back and we're just ecstatic," his father told Channel 2 from Colorado.
Jeff Schultz says up until now Ben has been considered either unconscious or semi-conscious but for the first time the doctors consider him actually conscious. This is an emotional moment for the family which has been by Ben's side in Colorado throughout his treatment.
"When prompted, he actually spoke words. He said hi. He said mom twice and he also said dad when prompted," says Jeff.
The family also wanted to make it clear the care he got at Providence Hospital at the time of the accident, saved his life. Jeff adds, " that combined with the care he's now getting at Craig Hospital for Rehabilitation is just second to none. We're just blessed that we have that kind of care."
The family also extends its gratitude to fellow firefighters and the community which have pitched in to help the family through donations and other assistance.
That includes a barbecue fundraiser which is planned for August 4th at Elite Sports Performance located at 801 East 82nd Avenue. The event, which will include food, drinks, and music along with auction items, is organized by the business and the Firefighters' Union.
The event will run from 6:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. and is considered family friendly - to help a firefighter's family get through a very challenging time.