Noah Haessig sits with Chris Cole, owner of Cecil’s Slice of Pie, at the restaurant’s fundraising party for Noah. Fifty percent of sales on the first Monday of each month for the remainder of 2022 will be donated to the Haessig family.
Noah Haessig wasn’t supposed to survive 48 hours. It was an accident that caused so much injury to his body that doctors thought any chance of survival was minimal at best.
Three months later, the Milan high school graduate is home, recovering and back in the community. Miracles happen, the power of prayer can never be counted and Haessig showed us all what can be done through strength, determination and the support of generous friends, family and neighbors everywhere. .
“The neurologist told us he wouldn’t last 48 hours…traumatic brain injury, lucky to make it through the night,” said Rebecca, Noah’s mother. “We had so many community members praying for him. We had so many people say he was on prayer lists. He needed a miracle, we started asking people to help him and we got one.
That’s not to say the road to recovery was easy. Haessig, a 20-year-old, was traveling north on State Road 101 near Spades Road on March 1 when his 2021 Kawasaki was hit by a Toyota truck, throwing Haessig off his motorcycle and onto the road. He was airlifted to Cincinnati with life-threatening injuries shortly after and what followed was a number of surgeries, treatments and rehab that Noah persevered on his way. towards survival. Among these were surgery on the arm, leg, neck and spine while also being attached to a ventilator, chest tube and tracheostomy tube. Nerve damage and brain damage have also added themselves to a list that for many of us is impossible to comprehend.
A host of other problems arose while he was still in hospital. The injuries from the accident spread and triggered episodes that made life a nightmare at first.
“Doctors first said he would be paralyzed,” Haessig noted of Noah’s injuries. “The C2 to C7 of his spine were fractured. They had thought it had penetrated his spinal cord, but it just missed it so he wouldn’t be paralyzed. He had several strokes in the hospital. They thought he wouldn’t be able to use the right side of his body.
But through it all, Noah kept fighting and defying the odds day after day as his miracle continued to unfold. Here in June, both continue to be a success even if the road to recovery is still long. Haessig has been spotted at various community events and has been able to hang out with family members. These may not be long drives, but they are signs in all the right directions.
According to her mother, city trips and visits to friends and family are part of the next stage of recovering from a social aspect.
“He wants to go out and do things but gets tired quickly,” Haessig said. “When we go out, he wants to walk with help. We try to help with some struggles. He still has nerve damage on his left side and is not yet able to use his left arm or his right arm. But at the moment our biggest goal is for him to be more independent and move his arms.
The arm movement will be aided by surgery which will remove the bone in his right arm to relax the nerves while the left arm movement will depend on nerve regrowth over the next year. The family is also considering finding a solution for Noah’s hearing loss in his left ear which was accompanied by loss of vision in his left eye.
“We’re looking to see if he’s a candidate for an ear implant,” Haessig said of future steps. “He has complete hearing loss in his left ear and complete vision loss in his left eye. If we are unable to qualify for the ear implant, we will consider other hearing options. Between that and his nerves growing back at a slow rate, it’s a very slow process. There are some things, especially with Noah’s nerve repair, that doctors won’t do anything about for at least another year.
In the meantime, Noah’s journey continues to be recognized by the community and fundraising efforts have spread throughout the county. The American Legion and VFW organizations have held campaigns and events to raise funds, as has the Milan Aquatics swimming group for which Noah served as an assistant coach during the summers.
Rebecca Haessig’s employer, South Ripley Schools, has also raised funds for Noah’s recovery. More recently, Cecil’s Slice of Pie here in Versailles announced that 50% of its sales on the first Monday of each month for the rest of the year will be donated to the Haessig family to help cover ongoing medical expenses.
“Noah gave me perspective and gave me hope,” Cecil owner Chris Cole said in a Facebook post from the company. “This Noah is fighting and we want to help him fight. We decided we couldn’t do just one charity night for him and his family. Noah showed us heart and now we’re going to show him ours.
“We can’t respond to everyone, but the community support has been incredible and overwhelming,” said Rebecca Haessig. “We can’t thank everyone enough. People come to us all the time saying they pray, think of us and love to see updates. Donations are wonderful. It’s just amazing what a small community is doing to help. We love living in this small community. You don’t know how much people think of you and care about you.