Kolstad improving after skull repair as he recovers from fight in Mankato

  • Article by: JOY POW and AMP;#XAD;ELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2014 - 6:43 PM

Also, with help, he stood for first time since May 11 fight in Mankato.


Isaac Kolstad, with his wife Molly and 3-year-old daughter.

Fri­day brought more bench­marks in the re­cov­er­y of I­saac Kol­stad. The Mankato man underwent suc­cess­ful skull sur­ger­y and, with assistance, also stood for the first time since an at­tack crit­i­cal­ly in­jured him a month ago, ac­cord­ing to his fam­i­ly.

Kol­stad, 24, suf­fered a trau­ma­tic brain in­ju­ry in a May 11 fight in down­town Mankato. He re­mained in criti­cal con­di­tion Fri­day night.

Form­er University of Minnesota quarterback Phil­ip Nelson of Mankato and Trev­or Shel­ley of St. Peter are charged in the as­sault.

Kol­stad, a form­er foot­ball play­er for Minnesota State University, Mankato, had a flap of his bone re­placed in his skull Fri­day morn­ing at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

“All went as planned and he is cur­rent­ly re­cov­er­ing,” his broth­er-in-law, Mike Flem­ing, said Fri­day eve­ning on the CaringBridge website where his fam­i­ly is post­ing up­dates. “He is in a lot of pain, but his care team is work­ing very close­ly with him to get him com­fort­a­ble.”

The flap, re­moved dur­ing sur­ger­y on May 13 to al­low brain swell­ing, had been sewn in­side his ab­dominal wall for ster­ile pres­er­va­tion while the swell­ing sub­sid­ed, the website says.

Also this week fam­i­ly “got a glimpse of the ac­tiv­i­ties I­saac will be par­tici­pat­ing in when he is moved to a re­hab fa­cil­i­ty,” Flem­ing wrote.

Speech thera­pists placed a speak­ing valve on Kol­stad’s tra­chea, and he’s be­ing en­cour­aged to talk, ac­cord­ing to Flem­ing.

“The re­turn of speech will cer­tain­ly take time, but if he want­ed to say some­thing, he could,” Flem­ing wrote Fri­day.

Phys­ic­al thera­pists this week had I­saac sit­ting on the edge of the bed with help, and he worked this week on hold­ing up his head and tor­so. It ap­peared to thera­pists that he want­ed to get off the bed. Kol­stad stood with as­sist­ance three times.

“He even fol­lowed di­rec­tion from the thera­pists and stood tall­er when asked, bear­ing weight on his legs for the first time in over four weeks,” Flem­ing wrote.

In an alleged at­tack around bar-clos­ing time, Shel­ley, 21, punched Kol­stad, knock­ing him out. Nelson, 20, kicked Kol­stad in the head as he lay on the pave­ment.

Kol­stad and his wife, Mol­ly, are par­ents of two girls, one aged 3 and the oth­er born June 5 in the same hos­pi­tal where Kol­stad is re­cov­er­ing.

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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