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On the road to recovery
Oct. 28, 2013
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Benefit for Lester Prairie motorcycle crash victim Sunday, Nov. 3

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Doug Minnick of Lester Prairie doesn’t remember Aug. 11, the day he was in a severe motorcycle crash in Wyoming – but it’s a day his friends and family will never forget.

“We got the call that he’d been in an accident,” said Doug’s wife, Shirley. “He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and he was diagnosed with severe brain trauma.”

Doug had been on a motorcycle trip with several friends, including his brother, Brad Minnick of Cosmos. Three days into the journey, Doug’s bike collided with another motorcycle from the group.

The man and woman on the other motorcycle were uninjured, but Doug had hit his head, and was unconscious. There was no phone reception in their remote location, so another member of the group drove to a nearby town to call for help.

While waiting for rescue crews to arrive, the other cyclists kept Doug still, and slowed the bleeding.

Doug’s injuries were deemed too severe for the local hospital, so he was airlifted to Billings, MT, where he spent 10 days in intensive care.

He then spent nearly a week in a hospital, followed by a month in a rehab center.

Eventually, Doug was well enough to return to Minnesota. Now, he goes to rehab twice a week in Waconia, where he receives speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.

Doug admits that the recovery process hasn’t been easy.

“It’s a long road, but I’m doing it,” he said. “I’m making progress.”

Among Doug’s injuries are brain trauma, a fractured left hip, a torn rotator cuff, and a fractured scapula. The injury to his head has affected his short-term memory, and he has no memories from the day before his trip to mid-September.

Doug also had to relearn daily tasks, such as how to put on shoes, get dressed, walk, and keep his balance.

“He’s doing very well,” Shirley said.

One thing Doug misses greatly is his job at Jerry’s Transmission Service in Lester Prairie, where he had been employed for 30 years.

“I miss the tow calls, but I have to recover well before I can go back to work,” he said. “That’s a little hard to admit.”

Doug said he appreciates all the encouragement he’s received from friends and family members during this tough time.

“I’m grateful for my friends,” Doug said. “It’s nice knowing people care – that’s what’s getting me though this.”

A spaghetti dinner benefit will take place at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 to help with Doug’s medical expenses.

Free-will donations will be accepted at the door, and matching funds are being provided by Modern Woodmen of America, Camp 2990.

Monetary and food donations for the dinner can be sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church, PO Box 38, Lester Prairie, MN 55354.

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