Community shows support for survivor of car accident

Hillsboro resident, Larinda Amstutz’s life was drastically altered on the morning of March 30. She was headed to work in Newton like any other day on Highway 50 between Walton and Newton. A vehicle in front of her had stopped in the passing lane to make a left turn, but Amstutz didn’t see it and she hit it.

“I was trapped in the vehicle which caught on fire. Two men from a power washing company in Wichita happened to be passing by, stopped and used the water in their tank to put the fire out. It’s because of them, the EMS crews and several other people who stopped to help that I’m here today. My right leg took the full impact of the accident and was severely injured with what is called a Pilon fracture. I also had a severe concussion and whiplash as well as some bruising and scrapes,” said Amstutz.

Recovery has been difficult for the mom of three.

“I was on bed rest for almost 6 weeks right after the accident. Initially my leg was in what is called an external fixator. This is a device that is surgically placed into the bones and then externally fixed to keep them aligned while the swelling of the tissue goes down enough to have the surgery to fix the fractures,” explained Amstutz. “And then I had the second surgery a month after the accident. The surgeon repaired the fractures using 3 plates and a rod and multiple screws. I am still totally non-weight bearing on the right leg and the surgeon has told us it will take up to a year before I’m fully recovered. He said this is a life changing injury and my ankle and leg will never be the same. This injury will change my life. I’ll never be able to run again.”

She will also have physical therapy in the future.

Amstutz said that the hardest part of all of it is the toll it’s taken on her family.

“My husband Nathan took on a huge load of responsibility with the kids and keeping everything going at home. The kids really struggled with everything at the beginning, all the adjustments that we had to make. I struggled with not being able to spend time with them doing the things that I’d taken for granted before like just sitting and having an evening meal together or being able to sit out in the living room and watch a movie together as a family or just simply going to town for groceries. Every aspect of our lives changed after the accident.”

Along with the physical and emotional costs, there have been financial costs for the family. So the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church Men’s Ministry team put together the fundraiser for them.

Amstutz said, “This is an amazing group of men that serve our community and God! They have been such a great support in Nathan’s life through this tough time. We are so grateful to them!”

The fundraiser was a pulled pork dinner held at the church on Saturday. Guests could come and eat at the church or take their food to go. Donations were accepted and given to the family to help pay for medical bills. The fundraiser was a great success.

“We are so blessed to live in a community like Hillsboro. So many people took time out of their weekend to come out and share their support and love. It was a wonderful evening. I am so glad I got the opportunity to share my story with those who came out to support us. Not just the story of how the accident happened, but of how God is using it to change my life spiritually and to share all the ways that He was present with me through it,” said Amstutz.

Amstutz expressed her appreciation to everyone who has helped her and her family.

“Each one of you, from those who first responded at the scene to those who continue to help as my recovery goes on, we deeply appreciate you. We appreciate your continued prayers. I may have a long road ahead, but I have a quote that I have been using as a reminder to myself, ‘Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations’. I know God has a plan for each of us, and even in a situation like this, in the end it will all have been worth it and my life will have been changed for the better,” said Amstutz.

If you were unable to attend but still want to donate, you can send donations to Hillsboro MB Church and make checks payable to: Hillsboro MB Church/Amstutz Family (please note that donations are not tax deductible).

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