Mother says teen in crash will walk again

Boy was in intensive care, but making progress after surgery

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2000

The condition of Kenneth "Kenny" Taug, 16, the Juneau youth injured in a collision with a city bus Monday evening, has improved.

Taug underwent 12 1/2 hours of surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Tuesday, said his aunt, Barbara Taug of Juneau. Then he was moved into intensive care Wednesday morning because he was having difficulty breathing.

But as of Wednesday afternoon, "he is doing good, making progress," Taug said.

"His leg is broken, and one of his arms, and he has two crushed vertebrae. He has a gash on his head and is pretty scratched up and black and blue. They said he has a fractured hip, but because of his age they will let it heal on its own," she said.

To reassure his high school friends, who have been concerned he would not walk again, Kenny's mother, Karen Taug, said she planned to e-mail counselors at Juneau-Douglas High School.

"I know he's going to walk again," she said.

During the surgery, pins were inserted into his leg and back to give support. Because of the boy's youth and good physical condition, Harborview physicians expect him to return to Juneau in "a couple of weeks, but probably in an upper body cast," his aunt said.

His mother is at Harborview with Kenny's father, Ole, and his sister, Maria, 14. Older brother Jonah, 19, is at home, she said.

"They did four hours (surgery) on his back, four hours on his leg and four hours on his arm," Karen Taug said this morning. "Two teams of five doctors operated. He is awake. He is worried about his friend (William Ridgeway) who was in the accident with him. He doesn't remember much except being put into the ambulance, and he's concerned that (Ridgeway) is OK. We're going to call him later."

Taug said her son would be moved from intensive care today to a regular floor, "which is a really good sign."

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