Luke Silliman celebrates winning the audience choice award, or the Elkie, at the Sequim Education Foundation’s Student Film Festival on April 21, in Sequim High School with his friend Emma Gallaher. Their film “Welcome to Life” also won first place and a $1,000 scholarship. Silliman was recently in an accident where he fell from a bridge near his college in Chicago. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim grad falls from bridge in Chicago

Aspiring Sequim filmmaker Luke Silliman, 18, finds himself in a scene he never would have imagined for his first semester of college.

His mom Jenna Rose said Luke was sitting on a handrail around 1 a.m. Oct. 14, on a bridge near his school, Columbia College Chicago, and he lost his balance and fell backwards about 30 feet breaking his right thigh bone and hip, right rib, pelvis in two places, sacrum, his tailbone, and the No. 5 lumbar in his lower back.

He’s being cared for in Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago where he’s had two surgeries including 12 screws, two rods and a titanium plate (to fuse his back where the spine and pelvis broke) placed into his body.

Rose said Luke’s family considers it “miraculous” he didn’t suffer any head, neck or nerve injuries.

He started his freshman year in September studying Cinema arts and Television. In Sequim, he most recently won the Sequim Education Foundation’s Student Film Festival with his friend Emma Gallaher for their film “Welcome to Life.”

Family members said Luke planned to work his way through college but won’t be able to for the foreseeable future so they’ve started a gofundme page to support his medical costs and education needs such as a laptop since he will be bedridden for up to six months.

Family set a $10,000 goal and have received more than $2,000 in support as of Tuesday, Oct 24.

Rose said they’ve recently learned that Luke’s insurance won’t cover his Acute Impatient Rehabilitation at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab where doctor’s recommend he go after his stay in the hospital.

“He can’t walk until he heals,” Rose said. “He is flat on his back in the hospital bed. He stands for a little bit each day, but can’t put weight on his right leg for five weeks to let his right hip to heal fully. He sits up for a few hours a day, but has to be careful not to overdue it because his shattered lower back is healing too.”

Rose said he’s had a strong support system by his side including family and a group of friends from college.

Luke will celebrate his 18th birthday in the hospital on Oct. 25, but family encourage friends to send cards and letters to the hospital. To send correspondence, write to: “Attn: Luke Silliman, patient Northwestern Memorial Hospital Feinberg Pavilion, 251 E. Huron Street 12th Floor, Room 1259, Chicago, Illinois 60611.”

For more information on Luke Silliman’s medical support page, visit https://www.gofundme.com/luke-silliman039s-recovery.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

On Oct. 14, Luke Silliman of Sequim fell from a bridge in Chicago, which has required two surgeries. He lives in Chicago to study cinema and television and hopes to be back on his feet soon, his mom said. Submitted photo

After falling from a bridge on accident, Luke Silliman is receiving treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago where he’s had two surgeries including 12 screws, two rods and a titanium plate placed into his body. Submitted photo

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