YMCA Aids in Recovery After Snowy Accident

On the snowy morning of January 28, 2023, Beth Buehner was driving on a country road just a few miles from her rural Eustis home when she crested a hill and met another vehicle resulting in a head-on collision.

She sustained internal injuries and broke nearly every bone on the left side of her body including her arm, elbow, shoulder, ribs, four vertebrae, pelvis and leg.

Today, she is happy to be alive and is gaining her strength back and lifting her spirits at the YMCA at Gothenburg Health.

“I’m lucky to be here and am very thankful for the YMCA,” Beth said.

After her accident, Beth spent more than four months at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha before transferring to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital to relearn how to walk and perform daily functions.

In July of 2023, she began physical therapy at Gothenburg Health after one of her surgeries and started exercising at the YMCA at Gothenburg Health after her PT sessions.

Beth’s daughter had suggested the Gothenburg physical therapy because of the connection with the YMCA.

“It’s been a blessing coming to the YMCA,” Beth said. “It’s a 30-minute drive for me, but it’s worth it.”

She drives to Gothenburg three days a week for therapy and then goes to the YMCA, where she exercises on a bike or the NU-Step, lifts dumbbell weights and then walks 12-14 laps with her cane around the indoor walking track.

“I didn’t have any strength when I started, but it’s built my leg and arm strength,” Beth said. “The mental part has been fantastic, too. You see all these people, and you encourage them to exercise, and they encourage you.”

Beth, 62, is trying to gain back enough strength to return to her job at a hog facility. But, since she’s not able to work yet, she is grateful for the social interaction at the YMCA.

“It’s been good for me mentally to see people,” Beth said. “The staff has been fantastic, too. They’re always encouraging, and they stop and talk to me.”

Beth recently ventured into the Y’s indoor pool to try water therapy after staff suggested it may also help in her recovery efforts. She found that her four grandchildren also love going to the YMCA, and she brings them with her on occasion.

“I’m just very grateful that I’m here, and I’m grateful for the Y,” Beth said.