WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (10/31/12) - District Judge Daniel Heady was injured in a deer hunting accident two weeks ago in Webster County.
Heady, an avid hunter and outdoorsman was in his deer stand when it broke. He fell approximately eighteen feet to the ground.
Senior Judge Robert F. Soder from Hopkins County, will cover Heady’s cases while he recovers.
Monday Judge Heady issued an official statement:
“Dear Concerned Citizens, Family and Friends,
I want to thank you for all of your prayers, thoughts and concerns that I have received since my accident last Wednesday, October 17, 2012. I also want to make sure that there is a clear understanding of my current situation, what caused me to be injured, and my prognosis going forward.
First, following my afternoon session of District Court on October 17, 2012 I suffered a severe injury to my lower back at 4:48 p.m. as the result of an eighteen foot fall from a tree stand. The fall occurred while I was beginning to hunt when my tree stand unexpectedly broke and fell out from underneath me. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve my cell phone following the fall, which allowed me to contact emergency officials and my very close friend Doug Turley, who led the EMTs along with other first responders and friends to my location within a matter of 20 minutes or less. I was quickly stabilized for transport by emergency medical personnel, carried on a stretcher for over 200 yards by close friends and first responders through the woods, thickets and a field, and loaded onto a life flight emergency helicopter which was waiting. I arrived at Deaconess Hospital at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Once at the hospital I was examined for injuries and stabilized until surgery. During surgery my neurosurgeon removed the bone fragments that were placing pressure on spinal cord and reinforced, repaired and replaced my damaged lower vertebrate. Surgery was successful and my neurosurgeon assured me that my spinal cord was intact and was not severed. I remained at Deaconess Hospital in recovery until Wednesday, October 23, 2012, when I was transported to Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, Kentucky for intensive rehabilitation for spinal cord and nerve injury.
My prognosis is positive despite the fact that I cannot currently walk. I assure you that I still have a wide range of sensation and feeling in my legs and have some muscle movement in my lower body. I know that my injury is going to take a long time to heal, but I fully expect to return to my normal functions in life very soon.
I am very blessed to have a very close and supportive network of family and close friends, which have helped and continue to help us get through this event. I am also very blessed to be part of three very close local court systems and have other judges which are in full support, while I am in recovery. Fortunately, through the generous services of Judge Williams and the availability of Senior Judge Robert Soder and his willingness to serve, the District Courts in Crittenden, Union and Webster Counties have operated and will continue to operate without interruption.
Although the exact date of my return is unknown at this point, I have every reason and expectation of returning to the bench and resuming my other duties in the very near future. I know that a multitude of family, friends, citizens and other Christians and churches have been praying for my recovery and please know that your prayers are felt. I also assure you that my mind and spirit is very strong and that my own relationship with God and Jesus Christ will carry me through this event. I would ask for your continued prayers and support and ask that you especially keep my family and close friends in your thoughts and prayers as they have also been drastically affected by my injury.
Thank you for all your support,
Daniel M. Heady
5th District Judge
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