Reed Credits God & Prayer For Road Back To Recovery
Darren Doyle, story:
Former Judge Executive N.E. Reed wanted to get ahead of the weather just over a week ago by feeding his cattle on his Edmonson County farm a day sooner than normal. With the forecast of winter weather in the mix for Saturday, February 16th, he was hoping to skip the mess and handle his feeding on Friday evening, while the skies were clear.
"I got the tractor and put a roll of hay on both the front and the back and went up to the gate," said Reed from his bed at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital. "Normally, I go through the gate and the cows follow me up to the hay ring, but there were some young ones there and I was afraid they wouldn't follow me so I stopped on level ground, I threw the tractor out of gear and got out of the cab. I closed the gate and came back to the tractor. When I reached up for the handle of the cab it jumped in gear, caught my leg, and ran over me."
The weight of the tractor crushed one of his femurs immediately, rendering him helpless. Broken bones protruded from his skin.
"All I could move was my left arm. The tractor went on, but for some reason, the wheels were turned and it was circling back around towards me. I thought I was gone because I couldn't move. I wasn't able to get out of the way...but the Man upstairs took care of me, Darren. I don't know if He rolled me out of the way. I don't know if He moved the tractor over. I don't know what happened, but some way the tractor went on by me."
Reed laid on the ground for over an hour, hoping that someone would come along. Eventually, someone did and with his left arm, he was able to flag down a passerby who immediately called 911 and got help on the way. Reed said he wasn't dressed for cold weather, as he had only planned to stay inside the cab. Laying on the cold, wet ground in February for over an hour caused his body temperature to drop to 94 degrees, which meant hypothermia had begun to set in on top of his other critical injuries.
"Keith Sanders led the charge from our local EMS workers. He was the first one there, and let me tell you, our local emergency workers are as good as they come. They were professional in every sense of the word. They did everything to treat me, console me, they stayed with me, working hard to take care of me. I don't know what I would've done without them. They helped me change my outlook on the situation."
He was transported to the Medical Center at Bowling Green but the severity of his injuries led medical professionals to get him to Vanderbilt where he underwent a 6-hour surgery to repair the shattered bones in his leg. He had also lost a considerable amount of blood.
Reed currently undergoes 2-4 hours of rehab each day and he said he is now taking a few steps with the help of a walker. He has multiple fractures in both legs with a host of pins and rods connected about, as well as 7 broken ribs. He is expected to remain at the Nashville facility for two more weeks.
"I'm getting better every day. I want to get back to Edmonson County as soon as I can, but I'm a blessed man. Beverly (his wife) has been with me every step of the way. There's so many little things that I just can't do. She's been my stand-by and my warrior. My family support group has really been something."
Reed said as much credit as his wife, family, and all the emergency workers and medical professionals deserve, the key to his survival and success is owed to God and the prayers of them that know Him.
"He's already showed me that there's no reason why I should've survived, because I couldn't move. It was just the power from upstairs. The way the tractor was coming at me, it was headed right for my chest and on my head, but it all missed me. When you can't move and you see this big machine coming toward you, you feel pretty desolate, but He made a way."
"Sometimes people look down on Edmonson County. They say we don't have this, we don't have that, but we have the most important thing, and that's the connectivity our people have with God and with each other. It's the main reason I've lived in Edmonson County my entire life. I'm proud of it and I can't wait to get back home. I'm truly blessed and I appreciate all the support. I'm glad for all the good thoughts, but I'm more thankful for all the prayers."