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When action meets compassion, lives change

When action meets compassion, lives change. 

“One of our very own Gobblers is enduring an unfathomable hardship,” Mandi Havel stated in an email to The Cuero Record. “Some of you know him as a Cuero graduate in 2010. Many of you know him as the friendly face in HEB, but we all love him.”

Austin Lind and his family were traveling home from vacation in the early hours of Friday morning on July 15, 2017 when a horrific car accident occurred. Austin, his wife, Molly, and their daughter, Alaina, had a one vehicle accident. Their car bumped a curb, lost control, collided with multiple trees until ultimately encountering a tree head on. Austin was able to force his door open and pry the passenger door off to get to his three-year-old daughter. She was unharmed. Austin was unable to get to his wife, Molly.

This accident occurred outside of Austin, Texas and help was there quickly. Molly was rescued by jaws of life. Two ambulances rushed them to the ER.

Their parents, Henry and Pam Lind, formerly from Cuero, and Mike and Samantha Coffman of Yorktown, received a phone call from an ER social worker in the middle of the night every parent is terrified of. Austin had multiple cuts on his face, one needing many stitches. They spent what seemed like hours picking glass fragments from his head, arms and legs. His rib was fractured and his body was bruised all over, but he wasn’t concerned with his own pain. 

When Molly arrived at the ER, she had a dislocated shoulder, a broken femur, a broken elbow and a cut on her head that needed almost 10 staples, along with bruising all over her body. She was stable and talking; she even made a joke about how much the double ambulance ride was going to cost them.

It wasn’t until later that evening when they wheeled her back for surgery on her leg that something wasn’t right. After the doctors put a pin in her femur bone, Molly began having seizures. These seizures led to her converting to unconsciousness. 

It was July 15, Austin’s birthday, his 25th birthday, and his wife was in a coma and at the mercy of life support. The doctors said it was a rare and uncommon effect from a large bone breaking. When a large bone breaks it can release fatty material. In Molly’s case, the fat embolism traveled through her blood stream, eventually making its way to her brain. The fat embolism attacked her brain leaving many unanswered questions.

Her MRI’s have shown swelling and some neuron blockage. Molly was fighting for her life. Molly’s neurologists had told Austin that he needed to prepare to make a decision, to keep his wife alive on a machine or to turn the machine off. This is a choice that no one wants to make, especially for a young wife and mother of a three-year-old.

Molly has already had her opportunity in proving she is a fighter though.

Four years ago, during her pregnancy, she found a lump. She was given devastating news during one of the happiest and most exciting times of her life; stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Molly was induced at 37 weeks and started her chemo treatment when her daughter was just weeks old which happened to fall on Christmas Eve. She fought cancer and she fought it hard, without complaining. She was sick, she lost her hair and she no longer was just a 20-year-old college student. She became a full-time cancer patient. Molly fought and won. During her fight, she also completed her degree from the University of Houston in Victoria and is currently employed as a special education teacher at Crain Elementary in Victoria. 

A week before the car accident, she had been cleared for her three years cancer free mark.

During her three weeks stay in ICU in Austin, she was solely breathing by the ventilator, had elevated fevers, had surgery for a feeding tube, a tracheotomy and contracted shingles. Due to the uncommonness of her coma, her doctors had never had a patient with Fat Embolism Syndrome before.

An experienced neurologist was invited to go to her hospital and review her file. He was proficient in FES and gave her a good report. He said it will be a very long, bumpy road, but he felt she could recover. He projected six months to two years of recovery and rehabilitation with possible short-term memory loss.

After weeks of ICU in Austin, she traveled via ambulance to Houston to another ICU facility.  The hospital is designed as a bridge in the continuum of care and is intended to facilitate the achievement of individualized, functional goals for medically complex patients. This was a temporary facility until she could breathe on her own for 48 hours. Once she is able to breathe on her own, she will be transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann. This is the best rehabilitation center in Texas and second in the nation. 

As of Aug. 9, Molly was approved to attend TIRR. 

“Thankfully, thousands of prayers were being lifted to our Heavenly Father on Molly’s behalf and He was in charge of her healing,” Havel stated. 

She is making progress one day at a time. She is currently out of her coma and traveling her road to recovery.

It has been 30 days of ICU as of Aug. 12, thirty days of not seeing her daughter and 30 days of her husband not separating from her bedside.

This is just the beginning of her journey and the beginning of the severe hospital costs. Again, when action meets compassion, lives change. 

“Please find it in your hearts to contribute to Austin and Molly’s go fund me account, but more importantly we ask that you pray for your fellow Gobbler family,” Havel said. “Pray for complete healing and pray for the strength of Austin for he bears the weight of the world on his young 25-year-old shoulders. God Bless and Bleed Green.”

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/molly-lind-hospital-expenses or Austin Lind/Molly Coffmann Lind Benefit Donation Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank.

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