Bill Stiles of Stiles Healthcare Strategies, Inc. reports progress on the survey being conducted with the Healthy Carolinians of Macon County.
Megan Ehrenkaufer, a 21-year-old woman from Scaly Mountain, N.C., involved in a devastating two-vehicle collision on Feb. 18, remains in serious condition in the trauma ward at Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville, however she is making steady progress.
On Wednesday morning, Doris Ehrenkaufer, Megan’s grandmother, confirmed that last week the young woman had been moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit where she had been admitted for neuro-trauma care after the accident. The small car she was driving crashed into a tractor-trailer truck traveling in the opposite direction on Hwy. 441 South.
Folks in Macon County, particularly in the Highlands community – Ehrenkaufer graduated from Highlands School in 2009 – were shocked by news of the accident. However, reports by first responders at the accident that Ehrenkaufer was conscious at the scene gave many hope that she had a fighting chance.
Ehrenkaufer sustained a critical injury to her head, as well as injuries to her legs and pelvis. According to her grandmother, reconstructive surgery to her legs and pelvis is to begin later in the week.
“She is making remarkable progress,” said Mrs. Ehrenkaufer, adding that while Megan’s condition remains serious, all critical issues have been addressed. Doctors have told the family that they hope to see Megan leave the hospital in two to three months and be discharged “mobile.”
Ehrenkaufer is a Certified Nursing Assistant at Companion Health Care in Franklin and hopes to become a Registered Nurse in the future. She was driving to work at the time of the accident.
According to the Highway Patrol accident report, that Friday morning, Ehrenkaufer crossed over into oncoming traffic and collided with a tractor-trailer truck. Though the truck was damaged, the driver of the tractor- trailer sustained no serious injuries. But, Ehrenkaufer’s 2001 Kia was completely destroyed.
The roof of the automobile had to be cut off in order to extract Ehrenkaufer, who was then flown to Mission Hospital in Asheville in MAMA, the Mountain Area Medical Airlift helicopter.
A witness of the accident who had stopped to offer assistance reported Ehrenkaufer as saying, “I fell asleep. I hope to God I didn’t kill anyone.”
Her grandmother noted that there has been a tremendous outpouring of concern from churches and communities from Appalachia to Florida, and that she had been told her granddaughter was on many prayer lists. She said the family was very grateful for the support in this difficult time.
An account has been set up locally at Macon Bank called The Megan Ehrenkaufer Benefit Fund. Macon Bank has locations in Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers, Sylva. For more locations, visit www.maconbank.com, or call(828)524- 7000 for information on how to contribute to Megan’s fund.
[inset title=""]Last week, Megan was moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit where she had been admitted for neuro-trauma care after the accident.[/inset]