Jonah Wagner did something in early February he wasn’t sure was going to happen: He attended a class at the University of Wisconsin‒Oshkosh.
Wagner was riding his motorcycle at a high rate of speed last August 3 when he wasn’t able to negotiate a curve and his brakes locked up, sending him directly into a fence post. The 20-year-old from Wautoma first went by ambulance to Berlin Memorial Hospital and then was transported by ThedaStar to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.
“I don’t remember a lot of the faces of the medical personnel who helped me at the scene and then later on the way to Theda Clark, since I was in so much pain, but I do remember how much they cared for me and kept telling me to hang in there and that it was going to be OK,” Wagner said. “They saved my life.”
Wagner, who was wearing a helmet, suffered multiple serious injuries, including severe blunt trauma to the chest, multiple rib fractures, a lacerated liver, the loss of a kidney, and a broken left ankle.
“I was in the hospital one and a half months and in ICU for one month, minus a day,” Wagner said. “I can’t say enough about what all of the medical personnel did for me. When I left the hospital and entered rehab, I couldn’t walk, but it’s been phenomenal how I’ve recovered and what my body now allows me to do.”
For Wagner, that includes attending UWO, where he is pursuing a degree in biology, with plans for a career in health care.
“After I saw what everyone did for me and what I went through, I am more determined than ever to work in health care,” said Wagner, who still has some pain in his ankle and back from his injuries. “I am so grateful for all the care provided to me all along the way.”
Wagner is also grateful for the support he’s received from his community and church. “Everyone was praying for me. After everything I’ve been through, it’s crazy how far I’ve come,” he said.