Pinske is thankful his accident wasn't more serious

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 05/06/97.

March 19 wonít be a day Ken Pinske, 43, or his family will forget for a long time. Pinske fell through the roof of the greenhouse landing on the cement floor.

ďI was able to crawl to the desk and pull the telephone to the floor to call 911, then I called Cheri at the house,Ē Ken said. Within a short period of time, the Paynesville Ambulance arrived and found him lying in a pool of water on the floor of the greenhouse in a fetal position. Ken was taken to the Paynesville Area Hospital then transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital. ďI felt every little bump in the road,Ē he recalls.

X-rays showed he had crushed his right wrist and fractured his pelvis. In surgery, the doctors did a bone graft to restructure his wrist. Ken had seven pins inserted to hold the wrist together: four external and three internal. In mid-April, the external pins were removed, and a cast was placed on his arm. This week he hopes to get rid of the cast and receive news when the other pins can be removed.

Ken found he needed help getting in and out of bed or chairs. ďIt is amazing how much a person takes for granted once you canít do them anymore,Ē he said. He even needed help tying his shoes.

The doctors sent a walker home with Ken which he used to navigate the aisles at the greenhouse. ďThe first time I tried to walk from the greenhouse to the house (about 150 feet), it took me 10 minutes. It was slow going, but I made it,Ē Ken said. ďI think I improved faster once I was home from the hospital.Ē

Cheri wasnít able to get much work done in the greenhouse after Ken came home from the hospital because he wasnít able to do much for himself. Pinske said he couldnít raise his feet more than a couple inches off the ground at first. When Ken walked up steps, he would go backwards because it was easier.

Their friends, former employees, and relatives came to the rescue and have been spending their free time helping get everything ready for the planting season.

The night of the accident, Sylvester and Linda Hiltner came over to do what they could at the greenhouse. Sylvester repaired the hole in the roof Ken made when he fell, so the plants wouldnít be damaged by the cold March air. It was either fix the roof or move all the plants in the greenhouse to another building.

ďA person doesnít always realize how much work is involved in a business until they have to watch someone else do it for them,Ē Ken said. Volunteers from the Stearns County Master Gardeners and the Annandale/ Maple Lake Varsity Hockey Booster Club each spent a weekend at the greenhouse planting shrubs (400 to 500) and flowers, cleaning up, and putting new plastic on the greenhouse. Ken would sit in a chair and monitor their work and answer any questions they might have.

Ken has been doing the watering of the plants but finds it seems to take forever. His fractured pelvis is still healing. He canít stand for very long periods or walk very far as his legs tire out fast. He uses his pickup as his wheelchair to get from one greenhouse to another.

ďI hope I never have to go through this again. I realize things could have been worse, I could have landed on my head,Ē Ken joked. ďIíll be more cautious in the future.Ē

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