Good spirits during recovery

Pam Gregor of rural Minneota, who was critically injured in a head-on collision on Oct. 28 near Richmond, continues to improve daily in the Sioux Falls VA Hospital where she has been since late November.

Gregor is in good spirits despite the long recovery process. “She makes friends wherever she goes,” said daughter Stephanie Christoffels.

“So she is making friends with all the other patients on her floor. She’s very outgoing. And she is grateful for all the visits, thoughts and prayers from everyone.”

Gregor just recently was able to put weight on her broken ankle and femur that was broken in several places.

“She uses a walker and can walk alone a little bit now during her therapy,” said Christoffels, a Chaplain at Minnesota Army National Guard and a pastor at Partners in Ministry in Trimont.

“We’re very grateful to God. He is the reason she is still here. He put people in the right place at the accident so she could be saved. And having so many people pray for her is what is healing her.”

Gregor is undergoing daily physical and occupational therapy in Sioux Falls.

“There is no specific timetable for when she can get out of the hospital,” said Christoffels.

“We’re hoping around the end of the month, but it will depend on how she is doing with her therapy.”

According to a Minnesota State Patrol report, Gregor, 52, was driving a 2010 GMC Terrain and traveling west on U.S. Highway 23 around 3 p.m. between Richmond and Paynesville when a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Eric Stein, 35, of Willmar was traveling east and crossed the center line and struck Gregor’s vehicle.

The force of the impact forced Gregor’s vehicle to flip over a guardrail and roll over six times before coming to rest in a steep ditch.

Gregor was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, while a passenger, in her vehicle Jim Klug, 48, of Minneota; as well as Stein and the passenger in his vehicle, Crystal Stein, 35, were all transported to St. Cloud Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Gregor and Klug are both Minneota American Legion veterans.

Gregor remained at HCMC for nearly a month.

Among her injuries were internal lacerations, collapsed lung, multiple broken ribs, a broken right hip, a compound fracture of her left femur, a fractured lumbar vertebrae, a broken right ankle, a dislocated big toe on her right foot, and numerous cuts and bruises.

While at HCMC, Gregor underwent four surgeries. “She was in critical condition for about a week,” said Christoffels in a telephone interview late Sunday night.

“She’s very thankful to be alive.”

Near the end of November, Gregor was transported by ambulance to Sioux Falls VA Hospital.

Pam Gregor

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