Three weeks later following a terrifying crash in USAC qualifying, Shane Hmiel is still going through the long road to recovery.
Within 48 hours of the wreck, Hmiel went through two successful surgeries: one for a broken back and the other for a broken neck.
He then fought his way through a battle with pneumonia and last Monday went through a third surgery to repair a torn artery in his neck.
Last Wednesday, Hmiel went through another procedure, this time to insert a tube temporarily in his neck, known as a trach. The trach will be there to help him breath while allowing the doctors to remove the vent.
Come Monday, he'll be going through his fourth surgery. When the doctors did an angioplasty on Friday, they discovered that there is a tiny leak in the artery from Monday's surgery. Hmiel's mom Lisa says it's minor, yet something that has to be done. To be able to do the surgery, they will first have to remove the trach, which will allow him to officially talk instead of just mouthing words.
Following the surgery, arrangements are being made to transfer him to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte as they have a good rehab program, and it'd be close to home for the family.
On the flip side, a bright spot was seen as Friday night: He got to have his first food item—a Cherry Popsicle.
According to updates today from his mom, he is doing well.
The injuries were caused following a wreck in qualifying. Hmiel flipped in turns three and four, with the top of the roll cage bouncing off the wall, USAC officials report.
For continued updates, check out the facebook page Shane Hmiel–Road to Recovery, where multiple updates are posted daily by his mom Lisa.
To help raise money to help to pay the medical expenses, USAC is selling the Racing to Recovery decals at $5.00 on their website. Also, for every new fan that joins the USAC fan page on facebook before December 31st, USAC will donate 10 cents to the family.
RWB Motorsports is also helping to raise money by selling the 2010 Shane Hmiel t-shirts via their website for $25.00, with all the funds going to the family. They all recently started selling the hoodies, which are the same design as the t-shirt, for $45.00, also with funds going to the family.
Fans who wish to make a direct donation may write a check to BENEFIT OF SHANE HMIEL and send it to: Steve Pruett, 700 St. John Street, Suite 300, Lafayette, LA 70501.
Electronic donations can be made and information about the up-coming fundraiser being done can be found at: http://raiseforshane.bbnow.org/donate.php
Update 10/31/2010 11:04PM EST
The surgery is set to place at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. Lisa reports that things went well today.