Shane Rego is back at work after an injury but he's sitting across the hall from an empty desk that should be manned by his friend Aaron.
Aaron McElhose, 32, was injured in the same driving incident as Rego, but much more seriously.
"The doctors have Aaron in a medically induced coma, waiting for the swelling in his head to go down," Rego said. "His wife is there with him now, giving us all updates as often as she can."
Rego said while McElhose's wife is in Yakima with her husband and his doctors, no one in the family is working and medical bills are beginning to pile up.
"There is a bank account in his name at First Federal for donations and The Oasis (Sports Bar and Grill) is having a strongman demonstration to benefit the family as well," he said.
Rego not only is advocating for the support of a Thomas Building Center co-worker but for the support of a friend.
The pair went to the Crescent Bar Resort in Grant County on the Columbia River with a handful of friends for an annual getaway. But unfortunately, on their last day, the pair were ejected from the bed of a pickup while riding back to their cabin on a small county road.
Rego was treated at the Quincy Valley Medical Center and released the same day, Aug. 10. But McElhose was airlifted to the Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center with
multiple injuries, the most serious of which was to his head.
"The initial injury caused the brain to swell then somewhat calm down until his brain realized that it was hurt, and is now swelling again," said McElhose's wife, Sarah, in one of her updates, adding that he will be in a medicated state until the swelling goes down.
He has made some improvements. Doctors have taken off his neck brace, he's beginning to take food doctors feed him and the bleeding has stopped. But he still has a long journey ahead of him before he can even begin to get closer to home.
"The neurology department here in Yakima is excellent and they will not allow him to be transferred (to Harborview in Seattle) until they are absolutely sure that he can withstand the trip comfortably, with minimal risk," Sarah wrote.
Breck Gault, a Sequim strongman, said the long recovery time is why he and other lifters hope the community will come out and support the family through a quickly thrown together fundraising event.
The strongman demonstration will feature Gault, one of the top lifters in the nation, Nick Best from California and four other local, aspiring Sequim strongmen who will show their skills Aug. 23 at the Oasis Sports Bar and Grill.
"There will be a silent auction, strength demonstration and rock band playing for Aaron's benefit," said Ken Cram with The Oasis. "Seven dollars of the $10 cover, all proceeds from the auction and a percentage of the day's sales will go to
the McElhoses and their twins."
The rock band Knucklhead, of Poulsbo, will perform in the evening time and the strength demonstration will be 3-6 p.m.
"I want to thank you all for your prayers, support and love," Sarah said. "It really makes a world of difference. It has been my lifeline and has helped keep me strong for Aaron more than you know."
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
For a complete company directory with contact information please click HERE.