S.C. wreck victims improving

by Wes Mayer

Times-Herald staff writer Bradley Hartsell will not need to undergo any more surgery, and his girlfriend, Hannah Latimer, had a successful surgery on Friday to repair some broken bones, said Hartell’s cousin, Josh Hartsell, around 2 p.m. Friday.

The two, both of Coweta County, were involved in a serious accident in South Carolina on Wednesday.

Hartsell greatly improved overnight, his cousin said. On Thursday night, Hartsell had three surgeries – one to put a pin in his left femur, one to repair his broken left hand, and a third to repair a torn internal muscle around his large colon that surgeons discovered during surgery. All of these surgeries went very well, according to his family.

Latimer was placed into surgery around 11:15 a.m. Friday to repair her broken right hand and left ulna bone, which was broken near her elbow – the surgery was completed around 3:15 p.m. and both surgeries went well, Josh Hartsell said. He added she is recovering now, and once anesthesia wears off, doctors will evaluate her ability to follow commands and maybe keep her off sedation.

On Thursday, Latimer also had surgery on her broken jaw, and doctors say her jaw will need to be wired shut for around four weeks. She also suffered damage to the orbital bones around her right eye and may need reconstructive surgery later on, Josh Hartsell said.

She remains on a ventilator, but doctors hope to take her off sedation sometime today.

Hartsell was taken off sedation Friday morning, but he is also still on a ventilator and has a tube in his chest to help with damage to one of his lungs and his ribs. Hartsell’s cousin said Bradley is beginning to breathe more on his own, so doctors hope to wean him off the ventilator and remove the chest tube in the next few days.

Doctors do not seem to be too concerned with any damage to either Hartsell’s or Latimer’s brains, Josh Hartsell said. Latimer was reportedly conscious at the crash scene when emergency personnel arrived. Hartsell is also responding to communication and has opened his eyes a few times and appears to recognize his family members.

Hartsell and Latimer were both involved in an accident near Anderson South Carolina around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday. Hartsell, who was driving, ran into the back of a fire department rescue vehicle that was stopped in the left-hand lane of I-85 northbound assisting an earlier accident. Hartsell and Latimer were both transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

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