Connect-Bridgeport's 2017 Top Feature Stories: #2

By Julie Perine on January 05, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Editor's Note: It was Nov. 8, 2017 when 2016 Bridgeport High School graduate and current West Virginia University freshman, Aaron Walden, was in a horrific vehicle accident in Monongalia County. It was Nov. 20 when his story ran on Connect-Bridgeport, generating a vast amount of interest, well wishes and prayers for Walden and his family. It was Nov. 22 – the day before Thanksgiving -  when he finally woke up.
 
“This is the best Thanksgiving ever,” said his sister and 2014 BHS graduate Danielle, adding that her little brother had pulled their mom down to give her a kiss on the cheek, bringing everyone in the room to tears of happiness.
 
Below, read this "It's Happening" blog telling Walden's story and read the update blog, written after he awoke, HERE
 
"It's Happening: BHS Graduate Aaron Walden Faces Long Road to Recovery After Nov. 8 Vehicle Accident"
 
 
On Nov. 8, multiple vehicles were involved in an accident which shut down the northbound lanes of I-79 near mile marker 151, the Westover exit in Monongalia County. Eight people were transported to the hospital. One of them was West Virginia University freshman, 2017 Bridgeport High School graduate Aaron Walden, who remains at Ruby Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
 
“He has been and will be in intensive care for some time,” said his sister, Danielle Walden, a 2014 BHS graduate.
 
Aaron’s injuries were extensive, including a sizeable head laceration. According to his mom, Michelle, his ear was hanging by a thread and has been stitched back on. Both jaws are broken and he suffered an orbital/eye socket injury. Those injuries will require surgery in the future.
He also has fractured vertebrae, a broken shoulder blade, broken ribs and lacerated kidney, liver and adrenal gland; injuries which will not require surgery.
 
Aaron’s left femur was broken and a rod has been placed in his leg. His most major injury, however, is his severely bruised lungs and he is on a ventilator and chest tubes to help rest and heal the lungs.
 
“He has been placed in a paralytic mode to help with the healing process,” Michelle said. “To our knowledge, he is neurologically fine and his spinal cord was not injured.”
 
For that fact, Aaron's family members counts their blessings. He has a long recovery road before him. His family said he is getting the best care possible with the excellent team of doctors and other health professionals at Ruby.
 
While at BHS, Aaron was an honor roll student, member of the Drug-Free Club and an accomplished musician. In fact, he has been studying music industry and accounting at WVU.
 
“He is honestly one of the best musicians I have ever gotten the pleasure to listen to,” Danielle said. “For 10 years, he’s played the guitar, bass, acoustic and electric – you name it – he can play it. During his senior concert, he wrote a full ballad himself for both him and his guitar teacher, David Zinn, to perform together. In his spare time, he mixes and makes his own music.”
 
Aaron grew up a baseball player. In addition to his athletic skills, he was singled out and recognized for his leadership and character. He was the 2011 recipient of the Bonn Kehrer sportsmanship award, an honor presented annually in memory of the seven-year-old sports enthusiast who died in 2007 from complications of a birth defect. For seven years, Aaron has been a volunteer with the Bridgeport Challenger League.
 
Aaron – who was voted funniest in his graduating class and chosen by his peers for the 2017 prom court - is funny, compassionate and talented and his sister said he is loved by everyone who meets him.
 
Let’s show him we are all thinking about him and praying for his recovery. Cards and letters can be sent to Aaron Walden, 701 Saddleback Circle, Bridgeport, WV 26330. They will be kept unopened and waiting for him when he is able to read them.
 
 “I can’t wait for him to wake up so I can show him what all everyone has done for him,” Danielle said.


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