Steve’s Story of Survival and Recovery


Steve in a hospital bed at North Memorial HealthAt our Foundation’s Making Compassion Count Gala in August 2022, we heard Steve’s incredible story of survival and recovery.

When Steve went out for a walk on a clear February afternoon, he never imagined the snow would be melted and spring arriving by the time he returned home again. Part of his regular walking path skirted along the edge of a narrow county road. He took all the recommended safety precautions—he was even wearing bright reflective gear.

On that day, a young driver sped around a curve, lost control of their vehicle and hit Steve at highway speeds. Steve was thrown into the ditch and his leg was trapped under the car. The driver, in panic, tried to rock the car back and forth, further crushing Steve’s leg.

The extent of his injuries wasn’t even immediately known but first responders knew they were severe and called North Memorial Health Air Care for a transport to the hospital in Robbinsdale. As the flight took off, his partner, Linda, looked on and hoped this was not a final goodbye.

While the helicopter was on its way, an ambulance brought him to Lakewood, a small community hospital with limited resources to care for a trauma. They quickly stabilized him and loaded him into the helicopter. By the time his flight was over, he had already coded twice. First responders were not optimistic about his survival, but they refused to give up.

Steve at physical therapy

Upon arrival at North Memorial Health Hospital, the Trauma Team quickly set to work ensuring Steve had all the care needed for the best possible outcome. Linda arrived shortly after and worked with them, helping to inform his care, and making decisions that one never expects to have to make.

Steve’s case was complex, and he required various surgeries and a long ICU stay. As Linda and Steve like to say, “we used every single -ology that North Memorial has.” Slowly, Steve began to show signs of improvement and miraculously he was able to return home two long months after he went out for that walk.

Today, Steve is doing well and insists on continuing his rehab at North Memorial Health—even though it’s a two- and half-hour drive. Both he and Linda credit North Memorial with saving his life and ensuring they have many long years to look forward to together.

Support the life-saving work of our Level One Trauma Center and Emergency Services teams by donating to North Memorial Health Foundation.