Kali Shultz’s life was anything but normal. An 18-year old college student of Brenau University, Kali had often found herself indulging in an active outdoor lifestyle. Softball, hunting, and even longboarding were some of her favorite hobbies. Unfortunately for Kali, however, one of these hobbies would lead to a near-fatal accident.
On May 20th of this year, Kali was longboarding with her boyfriend, Duncan Lowry, at a Gwinnett County skate park. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The two of them were enjoying the sport back in May when all of a sudden Kali hit the ground, sat straight up and started to vomit. When her eyes sunk back into her head, Duncan knew something wasn’t right.” He had called the ambulance, and the made contact with Kevin Shultz, Kali’s dad. Shultz, an active National Guardsman, was away training at Fort Polk, LA, when he learned his “best friend and hunting partner” had hurt her head; severely. He quickly found a way to get back home as soon as possible to be with his daughter.
Kali was taken to the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, undergoing immediate surgery because her brain had begun to bleed internally. She was then heavily sedated and allowed time to recover before it was found that her feeding tube had come loose and caused an infection. Kali underwent another operation, and it was corrected. She was then transported to Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta after being discharged from the ICU. Many of her mental and motor functions were lost, but she has already made great strides in recovering them and returned home this past Wednesday. Her father said she is doing well – under the circumstances.
“She started daily rehab today and she will need to do that from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for two, possibly three, weeks to continue physical, speech and occupational therapy to get back to normal living, school, and jobs,” Kevin Shultz said. “Nobody can really say whether she will get back to 100 percent of what they call the new baseline. There are some things that have to be relearned and the brain has to be retrained.”
Shultz said he believes they have all have adjusted pretty well to their new normal since the accident, but they have to take it day-by-day.
“There are lots of lows and highs. She is still our daughter and we will always have her back. She remembers a lot of things, some that I can hardly remember,” Shultz said of her progress. “We’ve been told that recovering from an injury like this is a marathon, not a sprint. It could take more than a year to get back to that new baseline. We hope to get as close to 100 percent as possible, but they can’t really tell us how long it will take.”
Kali was a first-year student at Brenau University when the accident happened. Shultz said she was hoping to go onto something in the medical community, either physical therapy or nursing. H said this injury has just made her more determined to be able to do something that will help other people going through something similar.
Shultz and his wife both retired from Walton County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, he to go full time with the Army National Guard and his wife on a medical disability. Shultz said due to the fact that he needs to be close to help Kali in her recovery, the Army National Guard has moved him to another department to avoid him having to deploy at this time.
Kali’s Aunt has set up a Gofundme Page to help with medical expenses and an account also has been established through Wells Fargo. The family has been faced with many additional expenses in traveling to and from the hospital daily for physical therapy and they are not sure how much of the medical expenses will not be covered by insurance or how much of the necessary therapy will even be allowed by the insurance company.
The Shultz’s are very grateful for the support from the community. Anyone wishes to donate can do so either through the Gofundme page or directly at Wells Fargo. Anyone can walk into any Wells Fargo branch and just ask to donate through Praying for Kali.
You can find out more about Kali’s story here: