Injured students make progress

Gina Oh and Sarah Kim continue to recuperate after being hit by cars in a serious accident Jan. 20.

Oh, a sophomore, had been undergoing rehabilitation in Springfield, Mo. On Monday she was moved back to Siloam Springs, said Steve Beers, vice president for student development.

Oh’s roommate, senior Casey White, said she had talked to Oh last week and that she “sounded super cheerful,” although she wanted to come back to the University. Oh was glad to have her mom with her from Korea, White added.

White said Oh would continue leg and arm exercises for 10 weeks before being able to put any weight on her legs, both of which were affected by the crash.

The University page providing updates on the women’s condition reported on Jan. 24 that Oh had fractured her pelvis, but that she had not needed surgery so far.

Kim, a junior, has been in more critical condition, according to the webpage. She had surgery the day after the accident to relieve swelling on her brain. Until Jan. 26, she was kept in a medically induced coma. The page reported on Feb. 5, that another surgery was performed for her broken hip.

Cary Balzer, professor of biblical studies, said Kim has made lots of progress since the accident. Initially, he said, the brain swelling was the major issue, but it is not much of an issue now. Cary and Tracy Balzer are Kim’s host family.

Kim is now breathing with the assistance of a tracheotomy, Balzer said. When the Balzers visited on Feb. 9, Kim had her eyes open. She is able to make hand motions and voluntary movements.

She was also able to look at pictures the Balzers showed her, and she pointed to herself in one of them. She seems to be mouthing words, although the tracheotomy may prevent her from actually talking, he added.

Hospital staff had Kim standing on her feet over the weekend, Balzer said, and she could probably be in a wheel chair soon.

Kim has been in the Intensive Care Unit in Tulsa, Balzer said. On Monday doctors were preparing to do a procedure which would allow her to be moved to a regular hospital room. No further information was available at press time.