16-year-old still in ICU two weeks after Amtrak detrailment
SEATTLE -- In the minutes after last month’s Amtrak derailment, a good Samaritan came across Timmy Brodigan, who was hanging upside down near a window of the train. But he was so bloody and bruised that the man initially thought the 16-year-old was dead.
Brodigan was on his way to visit cousins in Oregon when his train derailed. First responders transported him to the hospital with a litany of injuries.
Brodigan has fractured vertebrae and ribs, a contusion on his head and severe bruising to his lungs, according to his parents. He is still unable to breath on his own. He’s also still mostly paralyzed from spinal cord shock, though he can move his right arm.
He was initially treated at Tacoma General, but was soon transported to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday.
The next step is repairing his lungs. Then his rehab can begin.
“I would never wish anybody to go through this,” Timmy's mother, Robyn Brodigan, said.
But the family says they have been blown away by the support they’ve received from the community.
“Hope, prayer and help,” Timmy's’s father, Michael Brodigan, said. “That’s what we’re sustaining ourselves on right now.”
Timmy's parents identified dozens of people they want to thank for helping their family during this tough time. They say the first responders and the Eagle Scout who reached Timmy at the scene likely saved his life. Plus, the family and friends and strangers who have offered prayers and tokens of love restored hope during a Christmas in the hospital.
“These people brought him back to us,” Robyn said. “It’s just the outpour of support that’s gotten me through this.”
Timmy’s cousins in Oregon made several signs his parents proudly showed off Tuesday. Several church groups have made Timmy a focus of their prayers.
Robyn and Michael believe they’ll know more about his long-term health in the coming weeks. The future remains uncertain right now.
“We’re very hopeful that he’ll get some function back at this point,” Michael Brodigan said. “We want to give him hope without too much promise. Because there are a lot of steps ahead to rebuild him physically.”
The loving parents didn’t have much to say about the crash itself, stressing that Timmy's health is their focus right now, and they don’t want to make this a political issue.
“It does Timmy no good,” Michael Brodigan said. “We have no anger. That’s just not even in the picture.”
“I have questions in my own mind,” Robyn Brodigan added. “You know -- you’re in charge of people’s lives.”