Thanksgiving will take on a whole new meaning at the McElhose home this year.
Aaron McElhose, who suffered serious injuries in August, is making considerable progress toward recovery and the best news is, his family is making plans to bring him home Dec. 3.
"He is doing so great for the severity and extent of his massive injuries, it is amazing," said his wife, Sarah McElhose.
Massive injuries meant McElhose was in a coma for several weeks following the accident. He sustained severe head injuries, including a fractured skull, which has affected his speech and memory.
Nonetheless, his family, who has been at his side since the accident, never gave up hope he would recover.
McElhose and friend and co-worker Shane Rego, also of
Sequim, fell out of a moving pickup truck Aug. 10, near Wenatchee. Rego was treated at Quincy Valley Hospital and released the same day.
McElhose wasn't so lucky. He was taken to a Yakima hospital and was listed in critical condition for several days following the accident.
He slowly regained consciousness while at Yakima Regional Medical Center and a little more than a month ago was transferred to the rehabilitation center in Olympia.
His wife said when he first arrived at the rehab center he wasn't able to sit up, walk or "really do much of anything for himself." Now, she said, he walks with a walker, eats by himself and can operate the television's remote control. Recently he began working on using a cane rather than the walker.
His memory is improving as well, she said.
A recent CAT scan shows there will be some irreversible damage to McElhose's brain, but the good news was he could stop wearing a helmet, a measure taken to protect his head.
"That is going to help him out so much with his recovery and his balance," his wife said.
While the Dec. 3 discharge date is tentative, his family is looking forward to his return home. He will need occupational, speech and physical therapy for some time to come.
But coming home is a goal McElhose and his family have had since the accident, and that appears to be right around the corner.
Sarah McElhose is appreciative of the support the community has shown since her husband was hurt.
"The love and support that we have received throughout this difficult time has given us added strength," she said.
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