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HAWESVILLE, Ky. - Two angels on his shoulders and those in the form of emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters and more are who Chad Preston and his family credit with saving his life.
On April 20, Preston and his brother, Steve, were involved in a four-vehicle accident at the intersection of Indiana 66 and Washington streets in Tell City. Two people died in the collision.
Chad was flown to University of Louisville Hospital in serious condition with several broken bones, bad cuts and bruised organs. His sister, Karen Myers, said doctors placed him into a coma because of the extent of the injuries and pain. "He was in critical condition for two months," she said.
Another sister, Marita Hendershot, remembers hospital staff saying Chad's crushed hips and fractures were the worst they had seen, even a specialist agreed. "Many people thought he wouldn't make it," she added.
The sisters said Steve came away from the wreck bruised and walked with a limp for a while. He stayed at the hospital with Chad, they said, adding that he took it the hardest because he was driving.
But now, after two months at the hospital, three weeks in Bowling Green and a short stay at a nursing home, Chad is home.
His cuts have healed but he's still bedridden because of the extent of his injuries in the hip and pelvis area. Sister Anita Batie said he can't put any weight on his legs but they're hoping at a check-up today, he'll get a good report so physical therapy can begin.
"Thank you to everyone who rescued me," Chad said from his bed at his parents, Buck and Carolyn Preston's home near Hawesville. "To the church and everyone who helped. Thank God, also; he saved me, too."
When Chad woke up, the first thing he wanted to do was thank everyone who saved his life, said his mother. He is also thankful for all of his family and friends who have helped since the accident.
Since then he's never been alone, Karen said. His brother, Wayne and girlfriend Kelli Aud, have watched over him, as well as Steve's wife, Artie.
Steve and Marita Hendershot's husband, Doug, built a ramp with materials donated by Thriftway.
They still have to add handrails for safety, Marita added.
"Chad wanted people to know that they did an awesome job, they did the best they could," his sisters said. The EMTs did a wonderful with the situation, they added.
While the family said Chad has a long way to go, Marita said he's determined and wants to walk Vastwood Park.
"He's never once complained," Karen said. "He's strong-willed," Marita chimed in.
He's also never lost his sense of humor, Anita said, saying he likes to call himself "Chad the Bionic Man" because of the number of pins inside of him.
We want everyone to know that he's recovering and making improvements every day, added their mother.
The family expressed thanks to everyone who donated time, money and items including community members, family, friends, church groups and many more, especially Tell City police officers, sheriff's deputies, state police, rescue squad members and Tell City fire and street department members who aided paramedics and first responders.