A family sledding outing at Lions Valley Park turned tragic for one Crystal family on Dec. 23, 2012.
The day before Christmas Eve, George and Amby Beasley took their 5- and 7-year-old children sledding at a popular winter recreation spot in Crystal.
The family took turns going down the hill in plastic sleds. When it was George’s turn, he hit a jump and “flipped head over heels and landed just right to cause damage,” said Amby’s cousin Ashley Novak.
“Doctors have compared it to a car accident,” Novak said. “There was a lot of damage and glare ice. From what I’ve seen, it [the hill] looked like it was more of packed down snow and it made the impact hard.”
George was transported to North Memorial Medical Center where he has been hospitalized since the accident. Novak said the initial medical report wasn’t bad but things have become worse.
Due to the impact, George suffered a lacerated spleen, bleeding in his brain and now because of fluid build-up, liver problems.
“Now his liver and kidneys are failing,” Novak said. “On the outside, he looks good, but everything on the inside is not.”
The week following the accident, George was intubated, which means a tube was inserted into his esophogus so he could breath, leaving him unable to talk. Though he is now coherent and able to talk, he has contracted an infection.
“They think his liver is infected on top of everything else,” Novak said. “The next step is a liver transplant, but that would be very high on the list.”
Novak said the doctors are unable to give a good estimate of George’s recovery rate. Amby says his status changes hourly.
George has begun the long road to recovery, and has begun physical and occupational therapy. When he is able to leave the hospital, he will have a stint in a nursing home.
For all he has been through, Novak said George’s spirits have been holding strong.
“He’s doing good,” she said. “As good as he can be. He’s over the hospital thing. He seems to be in pretty good spirits.”
The sledding accident has been one more thing to add to the growing list of stresses for the Beasley family. Novak said George lost his job a year ago, and since then the family of four has been relying on Amby’s single income.
“His job was the main source of income,” Novak said. “Their house went into foreclosure, and this month they are supposed to be out of their house. It’s just another struggle they are going through. It’s now on her to find them a place. It’s piled on them, that’s for sure.”
Amby’s family and friends have rallied behind George and have planned a Saturday, Feb. 9, benefit at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park to help defray some of the family’s financial expenses.
“It’s to the point where we need to help,” Novak said. “She [Amby] was at the breaking point. She’s not certain where they are going to live and the medical bills are already astronomical. With the cost of all that, we wanted to do something to help.”
Novak said at first, Amby was reluctant about the fundraiser because she didn’t feel comfortable.
“She was kind of feeling bad about it, but she knows it’s for the kids sake,” Novak said. “She’s always put them first. She’s been good about it and is going with the flow.”
With the help of family and friends, Novak has been able to secure items for a silent auction. The admission to the bowling event fundraiser will be $20 and includes bowling, shoe rental and a pizza buffet. Half of the money donated will go toward the Beasley family.
“Amby is always helping people and always doing everything for everyone else,” Novak said. “Anyone wanting to do anything is awesome. We are very thankful for anything.”
If you go
What: Bowling Benefit for George Beasley
When: noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9
Where: Park Tavern Bowling Alley, 3401 Louisiana Ave. S. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children 5-10. Children five and younger are free. Cost includes bowling, shoe rental and pizza buffet. A silent auction will also be held. Donations are accepted at any TCF Bank, C/O The Beasley Family Fund
Contact Anna Woodwick at [email protected]