Kim Crump of Rapid City, seated far left, is shown in this photo taken at Craig Hospital in Denver, with her sister, Julie Olivier, standing, and from left, Crump’s daughter, Brittany, and her parents, Camden and Melba Galliger of Huron. Next, in a photo taken several years ago, Crump is shown with her husband, Dale, and daughters, Brittany, left, and Danielle. And next, Crump is shown at Craig Hospital in Denver with Holly and Lily, the children of daughter Brittany’s fiance, Nick Trandahl. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
Doctors gave little hope that Huron native Kim Crump would survive after falling at her Rapid City home and suffering a traumatic brain injury five months ago.
Crump is married to Dale Crump, a Redfield native. They have two daughters, Brittany, 25, of Upton, Wyo., and Danielle, 28, at home in Rapid City.
“It was touch and go,” said Crump’s mother, Melba Galliger of Huron. “When we got there the next morning the thing keeping her alive was the life support,” added her father, Camden. Crump’s sister, Julie Olivier, also lives in Huron.
To help the family with mounting expenses, a Soup & Sweets event and auction is planned from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Elks Lodge. A freewill donation will be accepted. The auction begins at 2 p.m.
All proceeds raised from this project will be matched by Modern Woodmen of America, up to $2,500.
It was late in the afternoon Oct. 18 when Crump was climbing steps from her garage into the house when she fell backward and hit her head hard on the cement floor.
“Her husband was just pulling into the garage, thank God, or she wouldn’t have made it,“ Olivier said. “She was knocked unconscious. When she awoke you couldn’t understand what she was saying. She tried to stand up and just collapsed.”
Olivier said doctors knew they had to perform surgery to relieve pressure on her sister’s brain, but they weren’t confident she would be able to pull through.
“It was a miracle, actually. There was a brain surgeon from Nashville who just happened to be in Rapid City after 6 p.m. on a Friday night,” Melba added. “How many times would there be a brain surgeon available like that?
“He said he would try, but he didn’t think he would be able to save her, either,” she added.
The trauma had shifted the center of Crump’s brain, with most of the injury in the left hemisphere of the brain.
“It affects her right side — which includes speech and analytical thinking,” Olivier said. “Part of the injury is the brain swells so much and it shifts.”
Crump remained on life support in ICU at the hospital in Rapid City for about two weeks before being transferred to a Sioux Falls hospital.
On Dec. 11 Crump was flown by air ambulance to Craig Hospital in Denver, a facility that specializes in traumatic brain injuries.
Camden said his daughter is receiving extensive rehabilitation, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Each patient is assigned a technician who is with them at all times to help them eat, dress, and go to therapies. “She’s feeding herself now, and she pushed a grocery cart the other day,” Melba said. “They’re there beside her. They have so much therapy. It’s amazing.”
Crump, who wrote with her right hand prior to the accident, has insisted to learn how to write with her left hand through therapy sessions. She’s also able to get up from her wheelchair, turn around and sit back down again. “We take it all for granted,” Melba said.
Still, there’s a long way to go.
“I think she knew mom and dad right away, and, of course, her husband and daughters,” Olivier added. “She would look at the rest of us like she knew us, but she had to study us. She called everybody Dale, her husband’s name.
“She’s conscious right now, but she has no idea about the big picture,” Olivier said. “I don’t even know that she realizes where she is.
“She doesn’t say, ‘Where is everybody?’ or ‘When do I get out?” she said. “She seems to be content to just do her therapies.”
In mid-January Crump had surgery to attach a titanium plate over the hole in her skull, allowing her to get rid of the crash helmet she had been wearing to protect her head.
“She hated that helmet,” Melba said. “She would take it out and throw it.”
“We tried to decorate it and make it look pretty, but it didn’t work,” Olivier added.
Crump enjoys looking at the photo albums her family brings to the hospital for her, and once while playing a stacking game with her daughter, Brittany, she laughed when Brittany’s tower fell. “She’s there that way,” Melba said.
If she’s not in therapy, she prefers to sit near the nurses’ station, a hub of activity.
“We Skyped, she looked at the computer screen,” Olivier said. “She was a little confused.”
One thing that’s been very hard is being so far away from their daughter, Melba said. “I don’t think that bothers her,” she added. “But we call and ask how she’s doing? Is she getting a hug?”
“One thing they say at Craig Hospital is when the patient gets injured, the whole family gets injured,” Olivier said. “It affects everyone.”
Crump is employed as secretary to the vice principal at Rapid City Stevens High School, and her husband works for a heating and cooling business.
“We know that God has been there, without a doubt,” Melba said. “From the very beginning, somebody said, ‘That’s a God-thing.’
“Doctors told us it could take a year,” she added. “She’s already come a long way for five months, we think.”
Although the program at Craig Hospital is for eight or nine weeks, and Crump was supposed to get out on Feb. 12, they can’t find a placement site for her that will meet her therapy needs.
“God doesn’t want her to move yet,” Melba said. “It’s a blessing in disguise,” Olivier added. “In the meantime she’s able to stay in Craig Hospital.”
Throughout this whole ordeal, the community has rallied to offer them support and comfort, the family said. From phone calls and visits, to the dozens of wonderful items donated by businesses and individuals for the upcoming Soup & Sweets and auction on March 23 at the Elks.
These include gift certificates from area businesses, four books by author Nick Trandall, painting prints, fireworks, travel mugs, steak knife sets, motel and dining certificates, Easter candy bouquets, passes to Mall of America, jewelry, gift baskets, hand-crafted items and wine gift sets.
“We appreciate the love and support the Huron area and friends have given us at this time of trial in our life,” Camden said. “People are praying all over the country,” Melba added. “Even out of the country.”For the complete article see the 03-16-2014 issue.
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