Freak Hammock Accident Paralyzes Mother After Rotten Tree Collapses

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
September 17, 2017US News
Freak Hammock Accident Paralyzes Mother After Rotten Tree Collapses
Alyssa Pfannenstein and her daughter. (GoFundMe)

A woman from Minnesota was left nearly completely paralyzed after a freak hammock accident.

Alyssa Pfannenstein, 25, was sitting in a hammock with her boyfriend over the Labor Day weekend when suddenly one of the 15-foot birch trees holding the hammock came crashing down onto her.

After the highly unusual accident, she realized that she couldn’t move—her neck was broken.

“People do it all the time, we’ve done it all the time, we are very adventurous,” boyfriend Justin Janssen told CBS Minnesota. “We didn’t expect something like this.”

The parents set up their hammock between two large birch trees in a park in Bemidji. Neither knew that one of the trees was rotten from the inside.

“All of the sudden this big boom hit me in the back of the head,” Pfannenstein told CBS Minnesota.

“It was surreal. At the moment, there was not even time to panic because it happened so quickly,” Janssen said. “Her calmness calmed me and her daughter down and made us understand everything would be OK.”

Pfannenstein’s upbeat attitude has not changed over her 12 days spent in Hennepin County Medical Center. Doctors say that this attitude is a major reason why she is making quick progress in recovering—she is already able to feel through touch.

Many offered her prayers for her to make a full recovery.

“We just want to appreciate every miracle,” Janssen toldCBS Minnesota. “Accidents happen and we will get through this like anything else.”

According to a Facebook post from Janssen on Sept. 7, he said that his wife has “normal feeling above waist and tingling feeling below waist.” But he said she started to have slight movement in her triceps.

“My girl is doing the best she can. She had a feeling test to determine her starting baseline. She currently has normal feeling above waist and tingling feeling below waist. She doesn’t have any feeling around her stomach area., but on the good news she has slight movement in her triceps” part of the post said.

The young mother of two will soon join a rehab facility to help her regain her mobility and strength.

In addition, the family has started a GoFundMepage to raise money for ongoing medical expenses. As of writing, they have raised nearly $8,000 so far.

Pfannenstein has recently undergone surgery to remove bone fragments from her spine. As of Saturday, Sept. 16, the feeling has returned to 95 percent of her body, according to the Daily Mail, and she hopes to make a full recovery.

Rotten trees can be hard to spot, but some of the signs include branches with no leaves, damaged roots, or fungus.

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