MORRIS – Almost five months after Kyle Dornan survived an accident with a train, he is able to walk some without assistance.
“I’ve been back on my feet for about two or three months,” he said. “I’m able to kind of walk around a little bit.
“I’m focusing on strengthening my muscles and getting full range of motion back in my right leg and hips,” Dornan said.
Dornan, 23, of Morris at the time of the accident, was struck by a train June 25. He broke his femur in two places, his hip, his pelvis, his left ulna in two places and had tearing in his small intestine.
The day of the accident, he had been watching the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup at some bars in downtown Morris. Instead of leaving when his friends did, he decided to continue drinking at someone’s house – a bad decision on his part, he said in July. The last thing he remembered was standing on the porch and saying he was going home.
While walking home, Dornan ended up at the railroad tracks near Grant Street. He has no recollection, but thought he must have stopped to rest at the tracks and fell asleep.
A freight train came by and its “pilot” – or what is also sometimes called a “cowcatcher” – scooped him up and catapulted him. The pilot looks like a plow in front of the train and is meant to deflect obstacles on the tracks.
Dornan was at Loyola University Medical Center for 17 days and underwent four surgeries and received more than 150 stitches.
He is currently doing his own physical therapy with instructions from his doctor because he does not have insurance, he said Wednesday. Eventually he will have to have more surgeries to remove plates in his arm and leg.
“At Loyola they call him the real Humpty Dumpty except that they were able to put him back together,” said his sister, Tara Kruger.
Before the accident, Dornan was a cook at Morris Country Club, but now is unable to work. He is staying optimistic, he said, but he does struggle mentally and emotionally with where his life is now.
To help with medical costs and living expenses, his family is throwing him a benefit starting at 3 p.m. Saturday at Clayton’s Tap in Morris.
Dornan’s mother, Johna Countryman of Morris, said she is grateful every day her son survived.
“It’s a miracle that he was saved and it’s hard to even grasp the sensational story that it is,” she said.
Support for Dornan’s benefit has come from his family, friends and even strangers, Kruger said. More than 60 raffle and silent auction items have been donated from Blackhawks tickets to Coach purses.
“There are a lot of people who have come to my [aid] who do not even know me and may never know me, and I just want to say thank you to everybody,” Dornan said.
Benefit for Kyle DornanWhen: 3 p.m. to close SaturdayWhere: Clayton’s Tap, 122 W. Washington St., MorrisCost: $10 entry, 12 and under free, includes foodKnow more: 7 to 10 p.m. Worldwide Riot band. A raffle, silent auction and 50/50 will be held. Donations can also be made at Mazon State Bank