On June 8, 2018, Salina residents Steve and Glenda Thummel were out riding their motorcycle on a beautiful day, traveling north of Salina and west of Concordia. In the blink of an eye, their lives were changed as they knew it; at an intersection they hit a pickup.
“We were taken by ambulance to Salina where they determined our injuries were more than they could handle,” said Steve. They were then transported to Wichita’s Via Christi-St. Francis to start the recovery process.
“I had a broken rib, but my basic injury was my left hip was dislocated,” said Steve. “They determined I had some bone chips in my hip and did surgery to take those out. I also had a really deep wound on my left shin. My injuries weren’t quite as bad as Glenda.”
“I had seven ribs broken, my pelvis was broken in three places, a broken wrist and a broken big toe,” said Glenda. “I had two breaks on one shoulder blade and one break on the other. I don’t remember anything about that day because I had a severe concussion.”
After Steve spent five days in the hospital and Glenda six, the Salina Presbyterian Manor agreed to accept them for inpatient physical therapy.
“They accepted us even though they were not sure how they would manage someone with the extent of Glenda’s injuries, but they were determined to accept the challenge. We are extremely happy they did and succeeded,” said Steve. “My therapy was simply getting my leg back into shape so it would support my weight. They did a great job with us. The CNAs took really good care of us and the nurses watched us close. It was a great place to be if you need the services and care they provide.”
“The team at the Salina Presbyterian Manor are awesome. Even though I had laid in bed basically the whole time, they had me ready to walk and go home. They did an excellent job and I still go to PT as an outpatient two days a week,” she said.
To prepare to care for the Thummels, the team at Presbyterian Manor had to pull together and develop a comprehensive plan of care.
“Before Glenda's arrival, therapy had a meeting on her status and we knew she was going to be an extremely complex case,” said Celice Stancil, therapy director, and Paige Gridley, physical therapy assistant. “Laying eyes on her when she entered the facility confirmed how delicate and challenging Glenda was going to be for her duration of rehab. Not only did we take Glenda, but we had Steve to focus on and rehab as well. Therapy experienced ups and downs each day … In the end, having both husband and wife here helped keep each of them emotionally stable while striving to reach their goals each day.
“It is an indescribable feeling on day one to lay your eyes on a husband and wife that were blessed to make it through a horrific motorcycle accident and then watch them walk out of rehab independently and return to their normal everyday life. Absolutely breathtaking!”
The Thummels appreciate all the support they had in their recovery. In addition to the physical therapy they received, the Thummels also received support from Pastor John Fillipi, his staff, Pastors John Luce and James Davis, their church family at First Church of the Nazarene, fellow members of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, friends, strangers and old acquaintances that have gone out of their way to send a card and say a prayer for them during their recovery.
“We had all these people praying for us—people we don’t know, churches we don’t know—but the one thing that brought everyone together was God’s healing power and the fact that God is here with us on a daily basis to take care of what we need. He’s been on this journey with us since the beginning. That’s made a tremendous difference in how we’ve healed and how we feel,” said Steve.
Their children were also a blessing to Steve and Glenda at the time.
“Our daughter, Dawn, spent the first three weeks with us to make sure all of our needs were met. Tom, our son-in-law, took care of the physical things at our home to make sure all was ok. Our sons, Jarrett and Steven, and their families spent time here each weekend to help and make sure all was ok. Without them, we would have struggled in our recovery. Our neighbor, Brian, without being asked, mowed and took care of the yard, he was a great help.”
This holiday season will be extra special now that Steve and Glenda will be home and healthy. They spent Thanksgiving with their family–three children and five grandchildren–where Glenda’s children insisted she be a spectator and not a cook. For Christmas, Steve and Glenda plan to visit Steve’s family in Indiana.
As for getting on a motorcycle again, it’s still a good possibility.
“We haven’t been on a bike yet, but I guess our plans are to get on one again. They did total our bike, so we’d have to get another one. It’s like anything else, you fall off a horse and want to get back on,” said Steve.
We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!
PHOTOS: Glenda and Steve Thummel are thankful to be healed and home for the holidays after a motorcycle accident this summer.