INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 24, 2011, 03:57 PM

GF Teen Injured in Motorcycle Accident Recovering After Surgery

MINNEAPOLIS (WDAZ-TV) - The 18-year-old Grand Forks man injured in a motorcycle accident last Wednesday is recovering after a five hour spine re-alignment surgery.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

MINNEAPOLIS (WDAZ-TV) - The 18-year-old Grand Forks man injured in a motorcycle accident last Wednesday is recovering after a five hour spine re-alignment surgery.

According to a CaringBridge site maintained by family, Ben Johnson went into the operating room shortly after noon today.

A neurosurgeon told family that the surgery could not have gone better, also saying there were no complications or surprises or excessive bleeding.

Doctors re-positioned a portion of Ben's spinal column that was displaced about 30 degrees. The site says doctors secured the spine using titanium rods and screws.

Johnson was on a ventilator during the surgery, but was taken off of it after the operation. Family say he's awake and they're looking forward to seeing him soon at about 5:45 p.m.

The head neurosurgeon at HCMC, who performed the surgery, said that Johnson's spinal cord injury was about 1/4 inch from his aorta. The doctor said that most times when the spinal cord takes such a severe blow, the aorta is ruptured, resulting in immediate death. The doctor told family it was nothing short of a miracle, according to the entry.

Johnson is the son of Grand Forks Freedom Church pastor Nathan Johnson.

Police say Ben was driving his 2005 Suzuki RT south on Evergreen Drive just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, when he went up over the curb, hit a mailbox and was thrown from the vehicle.

A witness said that Johnson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and there were no other vehicles involved.

According to family, Johnson suffered a severed spinal column, two broken ribs and two small perforations in his left lung. They also said he had full use of his arms and hands as well as strong respiratory function, but had no feeling or movement below his mid-chest.

Tags: