The Realings were on their way to work Friday, Oct. 30, near LaPush, when they were hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed the centerline.
Even though Nicole was able to turn the wheel away just a split second before impact, she still sustained multiple life-threatening injuries. It took hours to extricate her and she soon was airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
A collapsed lung, four broken ribs, internal bleeding and a crushed pelvis later, it’s an absolute miracle she is still alive. She has undergone two very long surgeries where a wonderful orthopedic team has worked to put her crushed pelvis back together again. It’ll be six weeks before she can bear weight on her left side and three months until she will be able to start walking again. A year of physical therapy is to follow. Nicole has been struggling to do her best and cope with such a heavy blow.
Luckily, because of her quick reaction, Carl wasn’t injured to the extent that she was. This has been such a blessing as he has been with her every single moment to help cheer her up, calm her down and encourage her through this very difficult, emotional and vulnerable time. On top of this, Nicole lost her mom to breast cancer in March of this year — 2015 has been a difficult year to say the least.
Nicole has a long road ahead and she plans on walking again. Nicole is out of the hospital and staying in the Seattle area with family as she recovers. Carl is by her side helping with everything as well as helping her cope with the nightmares she has reliving the accident.
To help with Nicole’s recovery, donations may be made on line at www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/ntrb. For the local folks, (or anyone who doesn’t like the Internet), donations can be made at the Umpqua Bank in Forks. The fund is titled “Nicole Schostak Realing Medical Fund.“
This 7-week old kitten was found along the road, near Elk Loop, last Tuesday during the storm. The kitten was taken to a Good Samaritan and she cared for the kitten until it could be seen by Dr. Dowell the next day.
The kitten was hypothermic and had a broken leg. The kitten subsequently died from her injuries and exposure.
On Friday, a member of Friends of Forks Animals got word a box of kittens had been left in a driveway in the freezing weather. They all died.
Friends of Forks Animals asks that if you have a pet or pets you are unable to care for, call 374-3332 and leave a message. A member will try to offer a solution to help.
FOFA also is trying to help feed needy pets during bad weather and tough times. Donations of pet food may be dropped off at Bob and Pat Stark’s Forks True Value.
Having your pet spayed or neutered helps reduce the suffering of animals that are born into situations where owners are unable to care for them. Please call for assistance if you need it. FOFA also can help with surgeries for those that can’t afford it.
The cold weather is hard on animals. Providing shelter, bedding and extra food during the winter will make it easier on them.
And don’t get a pet unless you are truly willing to accept the responsibilities.
If you are Carl and Nicole, you are thankful that you survived such a terrible accident, if you are a little kitten, you are thankful to be warm, fed and loved — and aren’t we all thankful for those things. Happy Thanksgiving.