SPEARFISH | A former patient and Sturgis motorcycle rally enthusiast from Denver donated an artist-enhanced print to Regional Health Spearfish Hospital Friday.
“Frankly, they saved my leg and my friend’s life,” Steve Streeter said in a news release from Regional Health.
The donation was Streeter’s way of showing his gratitude for the care he received following a nearly tragic accident during the 2008 Sturgis rally. That care ultimately allowed him to keep his left leg, according to the release.
The crash occurred as Streeter, a South Dakota native, pulled into a Whitewood area campground with his friend trailing. When Streeter stopped, his friend did not and hit Streeter’s leg. The friend then proceeded into a ditch and suffered life-threatening injuries.
Paramedics transported Streeter and his friend to Spearfish Hospital, which is staffed 24 hours a day with advanced orthopedic surgeons.
Dr. Richard Little is the orthopedic surgeon who saved Streeter’s leg.
“It’s good as new,” Streeter said.
Dr. Little was pleased to learn of his former patient’s good fortune.
“In most cases, patients return to their home communities,” he said in the release, “so we seldom learn of the outcome.”
Streeter purchased the original “Face to Face” painting by Scott Jacobs, a nationally renowned painter and the first officially licensed Harley-Davidson artist.
The painting features a silver Harley-Davidson CVO exactly like the one Streeter owned. It depicts Jacobs’ father sitting on the bike face to face with Mount Rushmore for the first time in his life.
According to the release, the enhanced print of “Face to Face” is a limited reproduction embellished with acrylic paint by the artist to add extra highlights and shadows.
“I am pleased to accept this remarkable donation on behalf of our physicians and caregivers,” said Spearfish Hospital and Market President Larry Veitz. “We are proud to provide high-quality care, which is clearly demonstrated by the successful outcome of this accident.”
Regional Health President and CEO Brent Phillips said the result speaks to the success of the health system’s purpose.
“We truly are helping patients and communities live well,” Phillips said.
Helpful Hamsters return to Spearfish
Those helpful Hamsters are at it again.
Hamsters USA will hold its annual meeting in Spearfish on Aug. 7, hosting another silent auction to benefit children with disabilities, according to a news release from the organization.
Funds raised will provide physical, occupational and speech therapies, plus psychological services, to children cared for through LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City. The group has raised and donated funds at its annual meeting for the last 12 years, in an effort to give back to the Black Hills region.
Last year, Hamsters USA raised $ 350,000 for LifeScape through fundraising events throughout the year.
This year’s event attendees will include Mary Helen Hlucny, a 5-year-old from Whitewood, and her family. Hamsters USA said Mary Helen, “a young lady whose smile lights up a room,” was born 13 weeks early to parents Cris and Ana. Ultrasounds done at one week old showed “holes” in her brain, and when she was 8 months old, she was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
The Hlucnys were told their daughter might never talk, walk or be able to learn anything. However, Hamsters USA said Mary Helen continues to prove doctors wrong.
Mary Helen first came to LifeScape to be screened in 2013, and continues to make “amazing” progress. Mary Helen visits LifeScape once a week for a therapy session.
“Our time at LifeScape has been a real blessing,” Ana said in the release. “Mary Helen’s future is very bright, in part because of the help and support our family receives from LifeScape. Like any parents, we want Mary Helen to lead a life she finds fulfilling, to be someone who is respected and well thought of, to be independent, and to not feel trapped.”
Veterans protocol court holds first commencement
The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court announced recently the first commencement ceremony for participants completing the Pennington County Veterans Protocol Court program.
According to a release from the court, the commencement ceremony was on Aug. 3, with South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Zimmerman giving the keynote address.
With the benefit of Veterans Protocol Court, the graduate who was honored has avoided 1,825 days in prison and has completed 377 days in Veterans Protocol Court to successfully complete the program with no relapses. The graduate was able to secure stable employment and housing, and made $ 850.50 in payments toward court fines and fees.
The release says the Pennington County Veterans Protocol Court was established in Rapid City in March 2016 to “assist veterans who struggle following their service to recover and lead healthy, productive lives.”
Officials say the program saves taxpayer dollars on correctional costs and reduces recidivism, while also improving community safety and public welfare.