By all accounts, Carrie Nicole (Nicki) Adeladel shouldn’t be alive, but after several surgeries following a one-car crash that severed an arm, crushed a leg and caused other severe injuries, the 34-year-old St. Paul single mother is on the long road to recovery.
It was 10 days ago that Adeladel went off the side of a winding county road as she drove in early-morning darkness outside of Hudson, Wis., delivering newspapers.
Her vehicle plunged down a steep embankment into a wooded area and crashed well off the road and out of view. She lay there, trapped and groaning for help, for as long as four hours until an alert sheriff’s deputy noticed skid marks on the pavement and came to her rescue.
“She’s a miracle,” Marcia Horn Kayhanfar said on Wednesday outside Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where her sister is receiving care. “They think she will make a recovery. She’s strong. She’s going to bounce back.”
Adeladel was in the operating room again on Wednesday as doctors removed muscle from her mangled right leg, just two days after she endured a nine-hour surgery in which surgeons put rods, pins, screws and plates in her left leg.
Horn Kayhanfar said her sister’s left arm had to be amputated at the elbow. Adeladel’s other injuries included a broken foot, four broken ribs, four broken vertebrae, a broken left clavicle, bruised lungs and kidney failure. She is on dialysis four hours a day.
“Doctors say it’s rare that somebody comes in this banged up and makes it out of the emergency room,” Horn Kayhanfar said. “It confirms that this is one of the worst cases and that she is an incredible, strong, fighting, resilient survivor.”
The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $15,000 for medical expenses.
Adeladel is heavily sedated with painkillers, but she has been able to communicate with doctors and family members by nodding her head and wiggling her fingers. At times she opens her eyes and “she knows you are there,” her sister said.
Adeladel was driving on Trout Brook Road when she came around a curve, lost control and landed in the woods. Her car struck a tree. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office estimates the crash occurred around 1:30 a.m. It wasn’t until 5:23 a.m. when a deputy on patrol saw the skid marks and stopped to check. The deputy found Adeladel, and paramedics and firefighters arrived to cut her out of the car and rush her to the hospital, said Capt. Jeff Klatt of the Sheriff’s Office.
“We want that deputy honored,” Horn Kayhanfar said.
In addition to a full-time job, Adeladel was working two paper routes to make extra money to help support a 13-year-old daughter, Nadia, Horn Kayhanfar said.
“I’ve never seen anybody this bad off,” the sister said. “She’s going to pull through, but it’s going to be a challenge.”