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Wife of Wisconsin Rapids lineman injured in storms shares story

Wisconsin Rapids (WAOW) — It’s been nearly a month since storms ravaged central Wisconsin including Wisconsin Rapids.

Brian Ortner, a lineman, was just doing his job trying to clear power lines when he was hit by a branch, paralyzing him.

“He says he laid there and saw white and really thought he was going to die laying there,” says Amy Ortner, Brian’s wife. “The first few nights were really very dark.”

Nearly a month later, and Brian still can’t feel anything from his chest down. But his family remains hopeful and optimistic for his future.

Shortly after the accident Amy and Brian decided to head out to Colorado for treatment.

“We’re thankful for the things we have, we’re incredibly thankful for all the support we’ve been given,” says Amy. “We need to just focus on the little baby steps everyday.”

Each day, Amy watches her husband grow stronger, slowly able to do the simple things we all take for granted.

“We’ll still be able to do a lot of the things we love, it’s just going to take time,” says Amy.

Amy says the support has been incredible and the treatment in Colorado has been very helpful.

There are still many things difficult for Brian to do, but his family isn’t giving up hope he could potentially walk again one day.

“Out here we never say never,” says Amy.

The big message Amy wants to get across is never take life for granted.

Because Brian is in a wheelchair, Amy says they can’t go back to living in their Wisconsin Rapids home, and will need to get a new one in the area. They’ll also need a handicap accessible car.

If you’d like to help, you can donate here.

There will also be a

Courtney Terlecki

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