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Injured Student Now in Stable Condition

Posted on April 15th, 2007

The condition of Michael Wiebe-Johnson, 19, the EMU student who fell from the third-story roof of Oakwood residence hall early Friday morning, has been upgraded to "stable."

He was transported by helicopter to University of Virginia Medical Center at approximately 6:25 a.m. Friday.

The first-year pre-engineering student from Elkhart, Ind., was moved Saturday from the trauma center onto the critical care unit.

He suffered a fractured hip, several cracked vertebrae and a concussion, but doctors have not detected any paralysis.

Wiebe-Johnson was injured while a group of students was attempting to place a stuffed American bison from the university’s Suter Science Center lobby on the dorm roof. The animal was a gift to the D. Ralph Hostetter Museum of Natural History from Ervin and Pat Yoder of Berlin, Ohio.

It weighs between 250 and 300 pounds.

"Michael is slowly regaining his memory of the events leading up to the fall," Ken L. Nafziger, vice president for student life, said Sunday afternoon.

"He’s been able to talk with his parents and friends from EMU, and his situation seems to be progressing nicely, adding: "A lot of prayers have been answered."

The student’s parents, Steve and Dorothy Wiebe-Johnson of Elkhart, Ind., arrived at U.Va. Medical Center around 10 p.m. Friday.

Based on Michael’s current condition, Dorothy Wiebe-Johnson planned to fly back to Elkhart Sunday afternoon, while Steve will remain in Charlottesville a while longer.

"We appreciate the outpouring of concern and ask that everyone keep Michael and his family in their thoughts and prayers for his recovery and ask for all concerned a sense of peace and calm that comes from knowing God’s presence is with us," Nafziger said.

A blog is available for people to post comments to Michael at emu.edu/news/wiebe-johnson/

Story by Jim Bishop
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