Fund created to help Blahnik family

Friends and co-workers of Brenda Blahnik have set up an assistance fund for the family of the Spring Lake woman who was critically injured in a work accident Aug. 27. Blahnik, 47, suffered head and back injuries when the mechanical lift from which she was working tipped over and fell onto the cement in the pool area of the Spring Lake Community Fitness and Aquatic Center. She remains in an induced coma at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Becky Vargo
Sep 4, 2011

Blahnik was part of a maintenance crew and was working about 25 feet up, washing windows when the accident occurred about 9:40 p.m. last Saturday, officials said.

Andy Blahnik said his wife struck her head in the fall. A bar on the lift also hit and compressed her spine Doctors were able to lift the compression and fuse her vertebrae in surgery on Sunday, he said. On Friday, doctors said that surgery appeared to be successful.

Things were still touch and go because of swelling on the brain, so Brenda underwent surgery on Tuesday to have a portion of her skull removed to release the pressure.

Andy said her vital signs have improved since then and pressure levels have stabilized. There is still too much pressure for a CAT scan to be done to determine whether or not the swelling caused further injury.

“They are giving us the worst of the worst,” Andy said of Brenda’s prognosis. “But it’s too soon to tell. We’re just keeping a positive attitude.”

Andy asks that people continue their prayers for Brenda.

“I’m looking forward to the day we can thank everyone and bring Brenda home,” he said. “For now, we’re just taking it a day at a time.”

Fund established

The Spring Lake Township Fire Department, Spring Lake Public Schools, and the Spring Lake Fitness & Aquatic Center have established an account for the Blahnik Family. If you wish to make a donation, envelopes are available at Holmes Elementary, Spring Lake Public Schools Administration Office, Spring Lake Fitness & Aquatic Center or the Spring Lake Township Hall (106 S. Buchanan). Make checks payable to Andrew Blahnik.

 See more of this story in Saturday's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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