Don’t Stop Believin’ - Republic-Times | News

Don’t Stop Believin’

By on August 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Several people helped make the golf tournament possible. Pictured, from left, are some of those people: Zach Carter, Doug DeWilde, Derrick’s mother Donna DeWilde, Derrick’s sister Devon Albert, Kyle Wieter, Linda Sanchez and Ryan Ebeler. (Kermit Constantine photo)

A freak accident on a hunting trip last year forever changed the lives of a local family, and the community is rallying to help however it can. 

On Sept. 2, 2017, Derrick DeWilde of Waterloo was sitting by the campfire in Colorado with his brother Doug and two friends. They were discussing plans for the next day of their hunting trip when a wind blew through the trees and caused a branch high above to fall on Derrick. 

“I heard a loud crack (a sound I will now never ever forget) and I yelled to move,” Doug wrote on Facebook shortly after the accident. “All four of us scrambled and the top portion of a large pine tree broke off and came falling out of the sky from above us…. Never in my life has my heart sank so low as when I saw Sunny and Travis, yelled for Derrick twice and there was no response!” 

Derrick’s hunting partners rushed him to an ambulance. He was flown to a hospital in New Mexico for treatment of injuries to his head, spine and extremities. 

He is now back home. There is no estimate for Derrick’s complete rehabilitation, as he suffered a traumatic brain injury and people recover from those at different rates. 

Brothers Doug and Derrick DeWilde share a moment at the Believe in Derrick Golf Scramble. (submitted photo)

But in nearly one year since Derrick’s accident, he has made substantial steps on the path to recovery. 

“When I see him continue to make strides forward knowing we don’t necessarily know what the final timetable is, it’s helpful and it’s encouraging to see how he continues to get little pieces back and get more each day and each week,” Doug said. 

Taking those steps has required extensive medical care, so Doug recently organized a fundraiser to help Derrick’s family pay for those costs…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the Aug. 29, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss