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Westbrook, Minnesota
May 18, 2011     Sentinel Tribune
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May 18, 2011

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IllllmJll  JJllJliU JIIIIJLIIIJL]L tllataPiu t ilNIdgl ,11 i ]lllO ImmlilUO J Jim_' alnmpSlLW ]alJm L al L] lJm  almul LmWmU SENTINEL TRIBUNE IN'00;IDE Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Page 3 Clay Peterson  from page 1 His family commented how grateful they were for the great care from the Westbrook EMT's and the care at the hospital. Also it was nice that some of the EMT's knew Clay. The Petersons also noted that Cottonwood County Sheriff Deputy, Joe Saffert, responded to the scene within minutes of the accident. When Peterson arrived at Sanford in Sioux Falls he was taken to sur- gery where doctors worked on his injured back for six plus hours. They repaired his lower back from the dam- age to the L1 vertebrae through the Tll vertebrae. His dad, said "he has a lot of hardware in there." While he was in Sioux Falls a lot of his friends came to see him. "I got a lot of gifts I probably shouldn't have gotten, Clay said. After staying there for four days Peterson was taken to Denver, CO to the Craig Hospital. The hospital specializes in spinal injuries and traumatic brain inju- ries. When the Petersons got to Craig they were told the first six months are the most crucial time for recovery, but it can take up to two years or longer for results to happen. "We have heard a lot of success stories," said Nicki. They were told by the doctors to treat it as it is today -- learn to live with the way it is today. Warren said, "it was hard to get that in my head." Clay was immediately placed in classes that addressed many issue of being in a wheel chair. "One thing in Clay's favor is that he is healthy and has kept himself in good shape," said Nicki. Clay said, "It took a while for me to get used to not being able to do what I did before -- but I real- ized if you get depressed you will not get better." The medical personnel at Craig were very impressed with Clay's positive attitude. Clay talked about how being at Craig was like attending school. "They give you a lot of training, in many areas including: physical thera- py, occupational therapy, drivers ed, pool therapy, and learning how to use a wheel chair. While there Clay was able to keep up with is school work. His teachers at RRC sent lessons and books for him to use. One thing Clay noticed when he visited the traumatic brain injury ward, he saw kids that were far worse than himself. Another thing the Petersons were happy about was when Clay was admitted to Craig, he was assigned a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers. "He would see the same people every day," said Nicki. When asked about how the food was, Clay said, "some days it was raunchy, and some days it was O.K. I was ready to have a home cooked meal!" While he was in COlorado, he was able to get out to the malls, and res- taurants and getting used to being out in society. His days were filled with activi- ties, he said, "I was exhausted -- I would usually watch TV for a while and then fall asleep. Before the accident, Clay was involved with sports and outdoor activities. He played football as guard, and on defense he played tackle ad nose guard. He also wrestled for a year, and he was catcher on the base- ball team. He still likes to help out the baseball team by taking stats. His mom stayed with him from the start to when they came home March 10. The first few weeks Nicki stayed in family apartments at the hospital. Later on they both stayed in a inde- pendent living suite in the east wing. They had a lot of visits from their family and also had friends in the area who visited them during the week. Early in March Warren and about 13 volunteers, friends and relatives spent two days working on the access ramp when the temperatures were 2 degrees. He chuckled as he said, "The relatives were not volunteers, they had to come." So far the Petersons have not had todo a lot in the house because the doors are wide enough for Clay's wheelchair. They thought after they evaluated things they probably will do the bathroom first. Clay was anxious to get back to school with his friends. His doctors said he should wait two weeks before going back. Clay said, "how about two days?" Then he went back in three days. Above: Clay was busy taking stats at a recent baseball game at Lamberton. He not only kept up with his regu- lar classes, he also received credit for Phy Ed by lifting weights. It helps to keep his upper body strong, they told him: Clay said, "before the accident I was going to go to college " b a power line man and go to Colorado to live, now I have to really start over." Besides riding snowmobile, four wheeler and dirt bikes Clay enjoys hunting and fishing and plans to con- tinue hunting and fishing. He is especially fond of ice fishing. One of the first things Clay has done was get his drivers license back. He has a pickup equipped with hand controls, and OnStar. Warren said, "this really opens your eyes to handicapped accessibili- ty. They have found some people do not respect handicapped parking spots. There are still a lot of public places that are not accessible. There are a lot facilities that need to do a better job -- this shouldn't even be a topic of discussion." Warren and Nicki are grateful for the understanding of their employers through the entire time. Warren works for Westbrook Ag Power, and Nicki works for Red Rock Rural Water and the Shady Drive Inn. Their daughter, Cassie, just gradu- ated from Rochester Community College and will be going to SDSU at Brookings to complete her Bachelors degree. Last summer Clay worked at Westbrook Ag Power and hopes he can work there again this summer. The benefit for Clay will be at the Lamberton Legion Club, with the meal being served from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be a raffle drawing and a live auction following with matching funds from Woodmen of America. Monetary donations can be made to the Clay Peterson Benefit at First Security Bank of Storden and Lamberton. DNR urges boaters to 'Pull the Plug' on the spread of aquatic invasive species With 2011 open water fishing season upon us, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging boaters and anglers to take action to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species that harm water rec- reation, such as boating and fishing. "Our lakes and rivers are too important to take for granted," said Tom Landwehr, DNR commis- sioner. "Boaters and anglers need to be accountable and personally responsible to prevent the further spread of aquatic invasives." State law requires boaters to do the following: *remove visible aquatic plants and zebra mussels from boats and trailers before leaving a water access *drain water from boat, livewell, bilge and impeller by removing drain plugs, and open water-draining devices before leaving a water access *drain portable bait con- tainers when leaving any zebra mussel or spiny water- flea infested waters of the state (anglers can keep unused bait when leaving waters of the state if they replace the water with tap or spring). Some aquatic invasive species are small and diffi- cult to see at the access. To remove or kill them before transporting a watercraft to other waters, the DNR rec- omrnends either: *spraying boat and trailer with a high pressure sprayer using hot water (140), such as hot water sprayers avail- able at a car wash *drying boat and equip- ment for at least five days. For more information about aquatic invasive spe- cies, visit www, dnr.state. ventspread.html. WWG RRC boys and girls in action at the track meet in Worthington last week. SIOUX FALLS, SD 605.367.7003 i !i  ii!iiii? i !iii