Support from Team K helps Haven teen come home
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 08:11:42 PM CST
It's been just over two months since a farm accident took a Haven teen's ability to walk. Thursday the high schooler returned to Kansas from a Denver rehabilitation hospital, ready to get on with life.
"It's been a long, long road. and now we're on the way to a new normal and it's going to be awesome," said Marcie Bontrager, Kolton Kincaid's grandmother.
She's a member of Team K. That's what friends and family of Kincaid call themselves. Thursday many gathered at the airport to support Kolton in person.
"We've had so many friends and people we don't even know reach out and just touch us in a way that is just unbelievable," said Bontrager. "They've been there, not only to help financially, but the emotional support that we all have needed. They've been there."
Team K formed last November after a skid steer accident near Langdon trapped Kincaid's arm and injured his spinal cord leaving him unable to walk.
At Craig Hospital in Denver, Kincaid spent the last few weeks learning how to live on his own.
"He was a super inspiration to so many of the people there," said Bontrager, who visited him while he was in Denver. "They would come to him for a pick-me-up for the day and Kolton was right there for them, shaking their hands and telling them all was going to be ok."
Team K watched the minutes pass counting down until they saw him again.
"There he is!" one shouted as they saw him wheeling himself down the hallway, followed by his mother. The small crowd erupted in cheers.
"Heartbeat sped up a little bit and I just wanted to go and grab them all," said Bontrager about the moment she first saw her grandson back in Kansas.
"It feels pretty good," said Kincaid about his return. "I've got my friends here and a bunch of family. And I'm going home and I'm sure I'll have lots of visitors there. It'll just be a fun time."
Those gathered were eager to find out what Kincaid had been up to.
"Did a lot of transfer stuff, practicing getting on and off the chair," he said, providing a brief synopsis of the many things he learned to do while in Denver.
Kincaid, though, is already thinking about what's next.
"I want to go back for part of a school day tomorrow (Friday) and then tomorrow night's Homecoming at Haven," he said with a half-smile, "so I'm going to the dance and the basketball games and all kinds of stuff."
"I am proud as I can be for this kid," said Bontrager about her grandson's attitude.
"And I just want to give a big thanks out to anybody and everybody who did something and helped and... it means a lot," said Kincaid, before turning and wheeling himself out of the airport, headed for home.
There was a last minute concern this week about some swelling with Kincaid's legs. They didn't find out until Wednesday that he would definitely be coming home, just in time for his 17th birthday this weekend.
While he was in Denver, Kincaid had a rather high tech means of keeping up with his classes. He worked with a tutor at the hospital but was also able to virtually attend some classes at Haven High School using a robot.
The robot was courtesy of ESSDACK, an educational company based in Hutchinson which provided us with video of his first visit back to school.
Pilar Pedraza first told you about the robot last month.