The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Danville, IL

November 21, 2007

Tragedy pulls family closer together

Redenbaughs grateful dad is home

STATE LINE, Ind. — Before Steve Redenbaugh of State Line, Ind., and his family sit down for their Thanksgiving dinner today, they will make a circle in the living room. Then they will join hands and say aloud, one at a time, what they’re thankful for.

And without a doubt, having Steve with them this Thanksgiving Day will top everybody’s list.

“We’re also thankful for each other, and for the loving support that family and friends have given us during the past eight months,” Steve’s wife, Barbara, said.

A 30-year veteran with Ameren/IP, Steve was severely burned Aug. 12 from an electrical shock that nearly took his life. After the accident, he was immediately airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, where doctors had to operate to remove his entire left arm.

“I never realized how much my family loved me and how much we all loved each other until after this accident,” Steve said. “We’ve been going our separate ways and doing our own thing for all these years, and my accident pulled us all back together again.”

In addition to his wife, Steve’s family members include their three grown children: Sean Redenbaugh of Evansville, Ind.; Shannon Farnsworth, who lives in Bismarck with her husband, Eric, and two children (Austin, 8, and Allison, 5); and Tim Redenbaugh of Bismarck.

SERIOUS INJURIES

Steve’s family arrived at the hospital in Springfield just minutes before he went into his initial surgery.

“He looked terrible,” Barbara said. “His whole body was black like soot, except the parts that his hard hat covered. The doctors didn’t tell us at the time how badly injured he really was, but I don’t think they expected him to live.”

Steve had burns on his face, neck, back, chest and knees from the electrical current and the flash.

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