Bynum rancher Marvin Baker, 62, remains hospitalized at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where he is in long-term rehabilitation after suffering a serious spinal cord injury in the calving barn on Feb. 6.
Baker, a Choteau native, and his wife, Vicki (Perkins) Baker run the Bynum Livestock Ranch with their grown children Matt and Kara Baker of Bynum and Mary (Baker) and Tyler Youderian of Stanford.
Marvin was working with another man to get a calving heifer into a pen, when another heifer became aggressive and hit both of them from behind. While the other man was mostly unhurt, Marvin was thrown over a panel and landed on the back of his neck, fracturing his C5 vertebrae and injuring his spinal cord. He also suffered a concussion and a broken sternum.
He was initially taken by ambulance to Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau and then to Benefis Health System in Great Falls. On Feb. 10 he was flown to the University of Utah Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to fuse his neck and relieve pressure on his spinal column.
He was hospitalized in the surgical intensive care unit after the spinal surgery, but on Feb. 20 was transferred to the hospital’s rehabilitation wing, where he is expected to remain for 10 to 12 weeks, at minimum.
On March 6, in a Facebook post, Mary Baker Youderian said her father is continuing to improve daily, doing education and various forms of therapy (occupational, physical and speech) every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
He has recovered from pneumonia and his breathing is continuing to improve. His doctors hope to wean him off the trachea tube this week or next week. Last week, he was able to start eating real food and sipping ice water.
“His spirits are good and he still finds moments of humor in this crazy adventure,” Mary said. “The team of doctors here have been amazing. They have not only been treating Marvin, but helping to educate the entire family on our new way of life. It is obvious that the staff love their jobs. We are very grateful for all your love and support through this adventure. Thank you again to everyone who has visited, called, prayed and sent cards. Please keep the words of encouragement coming.”
Marv’s address is: Rehabilitation #2601, University of Utah Medical Center, 50 N. Medical Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84132.
There will be a benefit for Marv on Saturday, April 20, at the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau. Call Diane Collins, 590-4132, or Wendy Martin, 750-5586 or 466-5586 (at the Polished nails, hair and skin salon in Choteau), if you want to volunteer to help or make a donation. The benefit will include a meal of shredded beef, coleslaw and baked beans served by the Teton CattleWomen with the rolls donated by Bylers Bakery, a bake sale, a silent auction and a live auction. The event will start at 5 p.m. with the live auction beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Also, benefit accounts for the family have been set up in Choteau and in Conrad. Donations can be sent to First Bank of Montana Choteau at P.O. Box 858, Choteau, MT 59422 and to Stockman’s Bank at P.O. Box 727, Conrad, MT 59425. Call the Choteau bank at 466-5743 or the Conrad bank at 278-8200 to confirm how to make donation checks out so that they can be deposited in either account.
While the family has health insurance, they are incurring many uncovered medical costs. Vicki is staying in Salt Lake with Marvin through his recovery. Funds raised through the benefit and donations will be used to help with outpatient rehab and for retrofitting Marv and Vicki’s home to be handicapped accessible, if necessary.