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Paynesville Press - November 29, 2006

PHS grad paralyzed
following accidental fall

By Michael Jacobson

Kathy (Pederson) Allen, a 1983 PHS graduate, was severely injured following an accidental fall at her Crosslake home in October.

While sleepwalking, Allen fell from a second-story balcony and injured several vertebrae, resulting in her being paralyzed from the waist down.

She spent several weeks at North Memorial Hospital and the last month at the St. Cloud Hospital for ongoing rehab. She said she is taking occupational therapy - learning new things such as maintaining her balance without feeling below her waist and how to roll over and to scoot - as well as physical therapy to improve her upper body strength in order to improve her mobility in her wheelchair. Her arms, she said with a laugh, are going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger's.

Allen, the daughter of Bob and Sue Pederson of Paynesville, also suffered a minor stroke this fall and underwent heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart, a condition that 30 percent of the population has, she said, but most do not know about. Hers was discovered following her minor stroke.

Allen, who got to go home overnight for Thanksgiving, is hoping to return home for good next week. Her release date from the St. Cloud Hospital is Thursday, Dec. 7. In order for her to return home, many changes will be required in the Crosslake home that she shares with her husband Larry and three daughters: Samantha, 13; Rachel, 10; and Hannah, 5. An addition is planned to make their home, where she and her husband have lived for 17 years, wheelchair accessible, including adding an elevator. Other renovations include making the bathroom, kitchen, and other rooms wheelchair accessible.

Allen is a stay-at-home mother for their three daughters, while her husband runs Crosslake Storage.

A benefit for Allen will be held at the Whitefish Lodge in Crosslake on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. The dinner buffet is $15 for adults and $5 for kids (ages 6-12) with live entertainment and an auction at 7 p.m.

The Kathy Allen Benefit Fund has also been established at the Lakes State Bank, P.O. Box 767, Crosslake, MN 56442.

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