Hi, this is Tracy, David’s wife. Thank you for coming here today to learn about David and how he’s doing, to get updates and to lend your support and prayers. You are all so appreciated!!
As some of you know, we are finishing a future retreat room above our garage, a space for couples to be able to come and get away from their regular routines and connect. This is an up and coming part of VowsToKeep because we know how important it is for us as a couple when we have a chance to get away and want to be able to offer that to others. If, when they are at “The Promise Suite”, as it is called, and they need to address some issues in their marriage, David and I are available for counsel.
On Sunday, December 27th, David and I were up in the Promise Suite, laying insulation in the floor (1 level over our cars) between the joists, then laying subflooring on top. We were doing this so it would be safe for other people who would be coming over the next few day to work up there with us. David took a wrong step and fell through the floor joists, 10 feet to the cement garage floor below. It is unclear which part of him hit first and how he landed so far from the hole he fell through. It is possible he glanced off the car. He was laying on his left side when I came down the ladder and he was conscious. It was apparent that, even under 2 layers of shirts, his arm was severely mangled. Medical professionals reading this will cringe when I say that we didn’t call 911 but rather reasoned it would be better to call our neighbors who then helped us get David in the car. He did not hit his head so our main concern was the arm and internal bleeding. So off we went to the hospital in Marysville. We were at Memorial in Marysville for a few hours before they said the extent of things warranted transport to a trauma center at OSU.
At OSU we found the extent of his injuries: David’s elbow and all the bones in his lower arm were shattered or broken in some way (not including the hand). His elbow was severely dislocated. He had surgery the day following his accident. During the 6 hour surgery (that was expected to take 2), they attempted to reconstruct his elbow. They replaced the radial head with titanium, repaired tendons, took out fragmented pieces of bone, put the elbow back into location and tried to repair a very crucial bone called the coronoid. 4 hours of the surgery were spent trying to repair this vital bone, but without success. Despite its small size, a person cannot extend their arm without it. Because the coronoid was fractured, every time the surgeon tried a different tactic to repair it, it continued to crumble. Because the coronoid cannot perform its intended function, this will have lifetime impacts for David.
Their goal became to someday give him ability to move his arm from 30 degrees to 130 degrees (over a long period of therapy and healing). Think of your arm being fully extended as zero degrees and your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Now find 30. That will give you a good indication. Right now the arm is very unstable, meaning that it can dislocate very easily (elbow socket can come apart). In the future after it heals, it will be the opposite problem – meaning too stiff.
There are experimental surgeries that they may try later on to bring more movement to his arm, but the surgeon’s mentor is advising him to wait and see. Joint replacement may be an option, but things are pretty touch and go in there. We’ll take one day at a time. David’s wrist is broken as well and may require surgery. We are waiting to hear about that. They did not want to address that immediately because of the extent of the elbow injury.
David’s back was fractured at T11. It is a compression fracture that will require him to wear a brace for 3 months. Sitting, standing, walking will be very affected by this for the time being. He will not be able to bend or lift. Sitting at an angle of greater than 45 degrees will be difficult and kept to a minimum. After the 3 month period of time, David should be able to sit and stand regularly. In the meantime, going to his kids’ basketball games, church, and other activities is unlikely which saddens him very much.
David’s pelvis was fractured on the left side as well. It is a “weight bearing” fracture and we are grateful for that. He has been able to take small steps with a cane (no walker because he only has one arm not in a cast!). It is slow going, but over time that will improve.
David was discharged from OSU on Saturday, January 2. He is happy to be home recuperating. God is good!
Despite a difficult circumstance, we have seen blessing upon blessing. God has worked in miraculous ways over and over. The doctors continue to be surprised with his recovery and progress. We know that God answers prayers and that He gives us situations in our lives to grow us and change us. We continue to trust in Him and encourage you to do the same in your own lives. He is a faithful God, able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). To Him be the glory.
We are so grateful for your support in the day to day challenges this will bring and so grateful for your prayers. Keep them coming as his elbow/arm remains a major issue.With a grateful heart, Tracy Sellars
P.S. David works for a wonderful company but is technically self-employed. This allows us to split our time schedule between this company and VowsToKeep. Because of his injuries, he will be off work for awhile. We have health insurance but do not have disability. A co-worker of David’s has set up a GoFundMe account if you would like to donate. The link is gofund.me/davidsellars. We are humbled by your care for us. If there are other ways you would like to show your love and care for David, I will try to post things as they are needed. The words “Thank you” just aren’t enough to express how grateful we are for all of you.
P.S. This information and current updates on how David is doing can be found at www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidsellars. Please take 30 seconds to create an account (it’s free, just put in your name and email and create a password. They always protect your privacy). Then take a moment to WRITE A NOTE TO ENCOURAGE DAVID in his journey back to health!