Carrie German sits by her husband’s side in Dodd Hall at the Ohio State University Medical Center as he recuperates from severe head trauma sustained in a fall on Aug. 16. His expected release date is Oct. 18 or Thursday if progress keeps up at his current strides.
DELPHOS — They say it only takes seconds to change someone’s life forever. The families of Scott and Carrie (Rostorfer) German would probably agree.
Scott, better known as “Worm” to his friends, was excited about a weekend guys’ trip to Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 16. What happened as the group pulled into their camping site would set the course of the young couple’s and their family’s lives for months to come.
German lost his footing while riding in the group’s RV and fell to the ground, hitting his head. He was rushed to the hospital with a severe brain injury and his wife of four years said it was “the worst day of her life.”
“I got the call that my husband was being life-flighted to a hospital because he fell and hit his head. At that point, that’s literally all I knew,” Carrie German said. “They thought he was going to a hospital in Jackson, Mich., so we started up State Route 127. Then we got a call from an officer on the scene of Scott’s fall that he was being flown to The University of Toledo Hospital, which meant we were going the wrong way. After correcting our route and arriving at the hospital, we found out he had actually been flown to The Toledo Hospital, another 15 minutes away.”
With Scott’s friends in tow, the worried wife again changed her route.
“Scott’s friends had left the speedway and were in the RV following me,” she said.
When they arrived at the correct hospital, the news was not good.
“A few of us were first ushered into a private consultation room where we were told that Scott was in the operating room and that he was very critical,” Carrie said. “We were then all taken to another, larger waiting area where we could all be together. The surgeon came out shortly and said he had finished and he’d had to remove a large portion of Scott’s skull to let the brain swell. He said Scott had slipped into a coma after surgery and that he was a ‘very, very sick boy’ and ‘if there are any other family members, you should call them in’.”
The doctor explained the next 72 hours would determine if Scott would live.
“We celebrated and thanked God for each hour that he lived to get to that 72-hour timeline,” Carrie said. “His friends never left him. We told them Scott would want them to go to the race but they wouldn’t hear of it. They all stayed at the hospital with our families.”
The RV became a fixture in the hospital parking lot and the guys visited with the families of their friend, played corn hole and provided meals for the couple’s support system, cooking the food they had planned to eat over the weekend.
Scott made some improvements. Even after all the next few surgeries, including a second brain surgery for another bleed on the brain, Scott was well enough to be transported by ambulance back to Lima.
No one knows when it happened or why it happened but somehow his feeding tube had dislodged from inside his stomach and everything that was being run through this tube, his feeding materials as well as meds, were now being deposited into his tissues in his belly cavity. Less than 24 hours after getting to Lima, Scott was once again fighting for his life.
“The mess in his belly had become septic and Scott was within hours of death again,” Carrie said. “Emergency surgery that opened Scott up and pulled his insides out to wash them off was performed and Scott was then placed in a coma. I felt the progress Scott had made was all for nothing. We were right back where we started from that first night.”
Scott did not get better; five days later, a second surgery to wash his insides off was done. Then, he developed blood clots in his arms and legs. Because of his recent brain surgeries, they couldn’t give the normal doses of blood thinner and had to come up with a way to treat them.
“It just seemed like we’d take a step or two forward and three backward,” his wife said. “But even in his induced coma, Scott fought. When he came out of this one, he was moving his arms and legs even better than before.”
Before long, he was moved to the step-down unit and a bed came open at the Dodd Rehab Center in Columbus and now he’s progressing every day.
“The support from the community and friends and family and all of our co-workers has been just overwhelming and I couldn’t begin to thank each and every one individually for fear I’d miss someone,” Carrie said. “I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate everything.”
Scott is the youngest son of Chuck and Donna German of Delphos. Scott has been a volunteer firefighter for 8 years, and is a member of it’s Water Rescue Team and Life Flight Team. He is an Army veteran, having served his country in Iraq. He is a licensed journeyman pipefitter employed through the Lima Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. Carrie is the oldest daughter of Dan and Margie Rostorfer. She is employed at D & D Ingredients of Landeck.
The community can support Scott and Carrie by attending “Scottoberfest: Diggin’ Deep for Worm” Saturday at the Delphos Recreation Center.
A corn hole tournament will begin at 1 p.m. for $30. Registration will be held on that day. Prizes will be awarded to first and second place.
Bingo is $15 a ticket at 20 games per ticket and starts at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased beforehand at the DRC or by calling Jodi Moenter at 419-296-9561.
A carry-out or eat-in steak dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. for $10. Tickets may be purchased at the VFW, Delphos Fire Station or DRC.
Tickets for a large opportunity raffle may be purchased at the VFW, Delphos Fire Station or DRC for $20. Only 400 tickets will be sold with a single cash prize of $3,000. The winner will be picked at midnight.
Other events on Saturday include bowling, live and silent auctions, multiple bands and a 50/50 drawing.
A golf outing will be held on Oct. 13. To participate, register with Shauna Smith at 419-309-7843.