Critically-injured Lakin teen moving to Nebraska

Published On: Jun 02 2014 06:40:47 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 04 2014 07:04:04 PM CDT

A Lakin teenager is improving after he was critically-injured in an accident before graduation.

Joe Seeger's family said the 18-year-old has finally opened his eyes.

"It seems like we prayed so hard to have him open his eyes," said Jason Seeger, brother.

That leads to the next step for the western Kansas teenager's fight for his life. He will move to Nebraska for special treatment.


His family said he has made enough progress to be moved to a rehab facility after more than three weeks in the hospital. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in a rollover crash May 10.

It was a day before his high school graduation. We showed you then a good friend walked across the stage to pick up Joe's diploma.

Since then, Joe has been in the intensive care unit at a Wichita hospital. Progress has been slow.

"He was moving his arms and legs and now his eyes are open and he'll look at you but his body movement isn't there," Jason said. "Seems like we give up one for the other. They say it's the waxing and waning dealing with the traumatic brain injury he has."

Now Joe is being transferred to Madonna Traumatic Brain Rehab Hospital in Lincoln.

Joe thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

"It's like them prayers kicked in, the grace of God you know, just knowing we have to be strong for Joe," he said.

While Joe takes that next step, his family asked for drivers to be careful.

"Drive slow, please, like a little old lady or little old man, put your seatbelt on, and just be careful," aunt Donna Seeger said. "Because them dirt roads are very deadly and it's just scary. Just slow down and be careful."

The Lakin Fire Department is staging a river ride this Saturday to benefit Joe and his family.

A donation fund to go toward Joe's medical bills has also been setup at Kearney County Bank.