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WICHITA, Kansas – A Garden City man who lost his legs in a fiery accident today got to meet the doctors and nurses who helped save his life.
Charlie Drussel was working in his Garden City garage last December when his woodburning stove exploded and caused both his legs to be amputated above the knee.
He’s been recovering at Via Christi in Wichita since then and today celebrated his upcoming move to re-hab.
Charlie Drussel has barely any memory of the two months he spent in the Intensive Care Unit at Via Christi Saint Francis.
“Didn’t have a whole lot to work with when I got here,” remembers Charlie. “You had enough,” says his wife Sherry Drussel.
Nurse Emily Scott was there the day Charlie arrived.
“We bonded with Sherry first I think because we couldn’t talk to Charlie and then we he woke up we loved him too. He’s just a really neat guy,” says Scott.
Now well on his way to recovery, today Charlie got to meet the hardworking nurses and doctors
“There’s Doctor Wazwick. Our hero!” exclaims Sherry.
Who helped save his life.
“Charlie I don’t know if you remember but one night after you woke up, you go – ‘Come here, come here.’ And so I came really close and you gave me a really big hug and kissed me on the forehead. And I will never forget that,” remembers a nurse.
Both cake and Charlie’s Angels on hand to celebrate.
“Can you eat that?” asks Charlie’s nurse Emily Scott.
“Yeah,” says Charlie.
“Well technically not cake, more icing,” reminds his wife Sherry.
“Don’t put any buts on it just say yes,” says Charlie.
“I made him promise me a long time ago that he wouldn’t die before me. So he had to keep the promise,” says Sherry.
Charlie and his wife Sherry say they’re amazed by the blessings coming from tragedy.
A benefit held in their hometown of Garden City that raised at last check, more than $60,000.00.
“But I also got a copy of our bill from this floor yesterday! That’s a drop in the bucket,” laughs Sherry.
Both Charlie and Sherry with a sense of humor that never left.
“I got a lot of racecars to tune, I can do it from pathetic legs or I can do it from a wheelchair,” says Charlie. “You notice I said pathetic?” he asks.
“When he was coming out of sedation he kept saying really strange things. He told his son, ‘Make sure you keep the cat hair out of the punchbowl,'” laughs Sherry.
And an amazing support system through an experience that’s change more lives than just Charlie’s.
“My son and my daughter are different people since this happened. They both accepted Christ on account of this and my son has lost a chip off his shoulder. He’s a kinder man now. Just because of this experience,” says Charlie.
Charlie will soon be moving to Via Christi Rehab and says he’s most looking forward to getting outside again, as he hasn’t been outside since the accident last December.
Both he and his wife say they are overwhelmed by all the people reaching out to help their family, including people from their church who have already remodeled their Garden City home to be handicapped accessible.