LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A Sherwood family rooted in their love of Christmas prayed for a miracle after their loved one fell from a 30 foot ladder while hanging Christmas lights.
Alissa Pretty is the wife of Josh Pretty who she says fell from his ladder while putting up Christmas lights for their customer on November 12th. Pretty says her husband has been doing this for customers every holiday season for 18 years and was shocked when she learned he fell.
“I was just putting up lights on a customer’s house that we had done last year and I fell off of a ladder,” Pretty said.
Mrs. Pretty says the 30 foot ladder was a long way down and he was fearful her husband wouldn’t survive.
“We looked together at the scan and we saw this epidural hematoma,” said Dr. Vaktora Spalys, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at UAMS.
Dr. Spalys was one of the doctors who worked on Pretty when he went to surgery. Mrs. Pretty says the entire ordeal was life changing.
“He’s covered in blood and had a traumatic brain injury and you then figure he may never wake up,” Mrs. Pretty said.
Dr. Katie Kimbrough, a Trauma Surgeon at UAMS says she treated Pretty when he came in and adds it isn’t uncommon to see similar injuries like those falling from Christmas decorations this time of year.
“We probably see several injuries a year that we know of that are from Christmas lights or folks putting up Christmas decorations,” Dr. Kimbrough said.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on average there are about 160 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with almost half of the incidents involving falls.
“Make sure especially if you’re by yourself [hanging lights or Christmas decorating that involves heights] someone is checking on you or that someone knows where you are,” Dr. Kimbrough said.
In Pretty’s case doctors were amazed at his quick recovery and that he didn’t break any bones in the fall.
“The fact that he is doing as well as he is just 2 weeks after his injury is a Christmas miracle,” Dr. Kimbrough said.
Pretty says he doesn’t remember how he fell and although they have a long road ahead of them, they still have joyful moments.
Pretty says he is thankful to be alive and is waiting to be taken to a recovery center. He also says because of his and his family love of Christmas and serving 100 customers every year he will continue with those Christmas decorations when he fully recovers.