KEARNEY, Neb. — News of improvement has been heard from the Pete Smith family as they continue to recover at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Neb.
Kenyon College Athletic Director Pete Smith gave an update Monday afternoon on the current status of his family following a motor vehicle accident July 10 near Cozad, Neb. Involved in the accident were Pete, his wife, Linda; daughters, Emily and Abbey; son, Will; and sister and brother-in-law, Brad and Connie Ricker.
Will had been in a coma since the accident but had come out of the coma on Friday.
“He is responding to stimuli and is improving a little every day,” said Smith. Will had been transported by helicopter to Good Samaritan after Cozad rescue personnel responded to the accident.
Abbey was discharged from the hospital after 48 hours, sustaining heavy road rash.
Linda is recovering from multiple breaks in her lower legs and a crushed elbow. Surgery took place to repair ligament damage, and she is continuing to improve.
Abbey and Will each were to be showing a hog at the Knox County Fair on Monday. Fellow members of the Grove 4-H Club, Avery Bell and Brayden Kramp, showed the hogs for Abbey and Will in their absence. Abbey has also decided to donate all the money from the sale of her market hog to the Good Samaritan Hospital trauma unit in appreciation for the care that has been given to Will.
Emily has been posting updates daily on a website for friends and family to read, and notes can also be left there for the family. The website address is www.caringbridge.org/visit/willsmith12.
“We are so humbled by the outpouring of love and gifts from the Mount Vernon and Gambier communities,” said Smith. “It’s almost like we’re adopted here (Good Samaritan Hospital). It’s like a home away from home.
“We’ve been blessed with so much compassion at home and as well from the Kearney, Neb., community. It has been a journey of miracles.”
Smith also encouraged area residents to send cards of thanks to the Cozad Emergency Squad for their superior care given to the family following the accident. “They really saved our lives,” said Smith. Cards may be sent to: Cozad Emergency Squad, 229 E. 8th St., Cozad, NE 69130.
A pool festival and swim-a-thon benefit is also taking place from 3 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Kenyon Athletic Center pool. Participating swimmers are collecting pledges then swimming as many laps of the pool as they can. For more information on this event, call Samantha Williams at 740-507-8263 or Ian Richardson at 734-474-4582.