Docs optimistic for Breck man who fell off taxi
April 1, 2009
The Breckenridge man who fell off a taxi on Main Street last month is making progress toward recovery at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver.
The incident on March 1, and the major brain surgery that followed, left John Hackett in a coma until two-and-a-half weeks ago.
By Wednesday he was able to whisper, move both hands and sit in a chair.
“Doctors are very pleased with his results so far,” said his wife, Karen Hackett, who added that they’re “much more optimistic than they were a month ago.”
She said the doctors will be evaluating John today to determine whether he’s ready to be transferred
to a rehabilitation center in Craig.
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Recovery is “guess-timated” to take at least two months.
“You kind of take it day-by-day,” Karen said.
She’s been staying by John’s side in Denver while Tucker, their daughter, continues attending seventh grade at Summit Middle School.
Karen regularly updates friends and family on John’s status through caringbridge.org, a nonprofit website that connects people during critical illnesses, treatments and recoveries.
Her entry on Wednesday stated that John was able to sit in a chair, but that his waist was tied to it so that he wouldn’t try to stand. He’s been able to take juice and apple sauce, and he was being tested Wednesday to determine whether he’s ready for solid food.
“He’s whispered one or two words and can nod ‘yes’ or ‘no,'” Karen said Wednesday. “He hasn’t really spoken yet, but we’re hoping he’ll do that shortly.”
She said he can move both hands but that the right side of his body is much weaker than the left. John’s left temporal brain lobe suffered major bruising after the fall from the taxi.
During the initial surgery, part of his skull had
to be removed to allow the brain to swell without causing damage. Another surgery will be required
to replace the bone flap.
Karen Hackett said the support the family’s received has been “unbelievable,” and that they “really appreciate it.”
The website has received more than 21,000 visits and more than 600 comments in the guestbook ” from people across the country.
John Hackett works as a sales agent for Grand
Timber Lodge in Breckenridge; Karen is a broker for Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate.
The two are former Wall Street brokers who moved to the mountains to raise their family. John coaches Summit Middle School girls’ lacrosse in his free time.
His brain injury occurred after a night of partying, when he and a friend tried to hitch a ride by hopping on the back of a taxi van and he fell off, according to previous reports.