Randy Reed received injuries to his neck, spine and left arm while battling a fire inside an abandoned Chestnut Street structure.
Reed was taken to Caldwell Medical Center before being transfered to Deaconess Health System in Evansville, Ind. Two juveniles were charged with starting the blaze and released July 11 to their parents.
On Saturday, Reed was allowed by physicians and Eddyville Fire Department personnel to participate in the 51st annual Founder’s Day parade.
Despite the temporary break from recovery and good prognosis, Reed said he still has a long road ahead.
“The support from the community has been wonderful, and the support from the Eddyville and Kuttawa firefighters has simply been amazing,” Reed said last week. “Josh and Tim Shenk (Eddyville chief and assistant chief) visited with me every day that I was in Evansville and actually spent one night in the hospital, allowing my relatives to go home and recover.
Other firefighters also made the long drive up to Evansville and have been visiting me regularly. I moved from California to Eddyville in February 2012 and joined the Eddyville and Kuttawa fire departments almost immediately. As a newcomer, to be embraced so warmly by the other firefighters has simply been beyond belief.”
Reed was injured when a 5-foot, 100-pound section of burning tree trunk fell from overhead, striking him across the head and fracturing his neck.
The blow also caused multiple second degree burns, leading him to spend four days in the Deaconess trauma center.
He was released to 8 to 10 weeks of home recovery, but stress from the injuries resulted in an supraventricular tachycardia and a trip to Baptist Health Paducah’s emergency room about two weeks after the original injury.
“After four weeks many of the burns have become minor, with only seven burns remaining significant,” Reed said.
“An MRI last week shows that the broken piece of the neck has not moved, which is very good news. I will be undergoing nerve conduction studies next week to assess problems with the left arm and shoulder, and that could lead to spinal fusion surgery.
“A huge thank you to Chief Josh Shenk and Chief Bill Compton for providing new, high-quality gear for us firefighters, and hammering it into us to always wear it, and wear it properly. My great gear and a miracle from God are the only reasons I survived the initial blow and fall into the burning embers. Who would have guessed that the hours of training we get every week on fireman skills like packaging and transporting patients would have applied to me? But they sure paid off.”
Reed said he looks forward to the day that he can be back on the end of a fire hose serving Lyon County.
The two juveniles, one charged with arson and one with complicity to arson, are expected to appear in court in coming weeks.
“Charges are still pending,” said Lyon County Attorney Brandon Knoth. “It has not been adjudicated. I think it’s coming back up on the docket again in a week or two.”