Beatrice employee finds purpose after life-changing accident
If Casey Holsing didn’t have medical insurance, she’d have more than $4 million of bills racked up from hospital stays, surgeries, rehab, therapy, and more. All from a car accident in Beatrice that could have been avoided.
“I had five surgeries in 36 hours,” Holsing recalled. “My entire life changed in one second.”
It was Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. Casey was on her way home from work at Southeast Community College’s Beatrice Campus. She decided to stop at Sonic for a snack. The last thing she remembers is the light turning green and she was turning. The next thing she knew she was waking up in a strange room.
She was life-flighted to a Lincoln hospital where she was immediately taken into surgery for internal bleeding. She had more than 50 blood transfusions that night, and even a visit from the hospital chaplain. Casey doesn’t remember any of this because she spent 10 days on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma.
“Where am I? What’s going on? I was really confused,” she said upon waking.
After spending a month in the Intensive Care Unit, she was moved to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, where she stayed for three months inpatient and another nine months outpatient. It would be almost a year and a half before she returned to work.
Her injuries included a concussion, whiplash, broken ribs, bruised lung, shattered hips and pelvis, broken femur, torn bowel, shattered L5 vertebrae, broken tibia and fibula, and a dislocated shoulder. She had two subsequent hip replacements and continues to be in a lot of pain. She had a total of 11 surgeries, and takes around 18 prescription medications a day.
“It (the accident) was hard to talk about at first, but talking about it has helped me process it,” Holsing said.
She first shared her story at SCC’s Safety Fair last summer. After realizing people were interested in what happened, she continued to speak out. She then went to her mother’s place of employment and then to her church. She takes along a tri-fold featuring pictures from the accident as well as X-rays showing her injuries. She hopes to visit more places to talk about what happened.
“Maybe I have a new mission, a new purpose,” she said.
For Casey, it was difficult to get back into a car, and even harder to pass by the intersection where the accident happened. After so much time away from work, Holsing is glad to be back as an admissions counselor and testing coordinator at SCC’s Beatrice Campus.
“I missed my co-workers and missed my students,” she said. “It’s nice to be back in a routine. People want to help, and it’s awesome to see the outpouring of support.”
All of the SCC campuses held blood drives in honor of Casey during her recovery period, including two at the Beatrice Campus. People sent her cards, texts, and emails in support of her getting better. She felt the love and continues to have a positive attitude, despite the fact she still doesn’t feel anywhere close to 100%.
“SCC and my church family have been awesome,” she said. “I make the most of every day. You never know when life can change. It’s important to be there for people. You never know what they’re going through.”
If you’re interested in having Holsing speak to your organization, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-228-8242.