Minish resumes IRHA duties after accident

Jill Pearson

Heather Minish visits the physical therapist five times a week after a van accident drug her against the cement of Interstate 94, tearing the tendons in her little finger and the skin off her left kneecap. Minish, sophomore in meteorology, was injured during a trip to a leadership conference in Grand Forks, N.D. Oct. 27. She had been traveling with members of the Inter-Residence Hall Association when the driver of her van fell asleep at the wheel and veered off into a ditch. The van tipped on its side when the driver overcorrected the vehicle to avoid the ditch. During the accident, Minish sustained injuries to her right hand and left knee when she fell on the pavement. She was taken to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minn. where doctors repaired tendons in her knee and the middle capsule on her right little finger, which holds the knuckles together.”I was in surgery the same day as the accident. It started at about 8 a.m., and I was out by noon,” she said. “I still only have use of 80 percent of my pinky, but my knee is back to normal.”Minish has been attending physical therapy three times a week for her finger and twice a week for her knee. She said she may still have more follow up surgeries on her finger because of the scars.Last week, Minish was able to resume her duties as IRHA secretary during their first meeting of the semester. Director of Academic Affairs Natasha Krentz filled in for Minish during her absence after the accident.”The reason I didn’t do it [last semester] wasn’t as much because I couldn’t, but because I wanted to catch up with my schooling,” she said.IRHA President Paul Duncan was driving the other van ahead of Minish’s and was the first to arrive at the scene to assist passengers out of the vehicle. He said it was an image he will never forget.”Being there at the accident,” he said, “it was sort of just like a train wreck experience to see her banged up as bad as she was. She was always in our thoughts, and we were fortunate to have someone available to step up and fill in her duties.”Duncan said Minish brings a special spirit back to IRHA.”She is a great secretary but more importantly a very nice, upbeat and happy person all the time,” he said.Minish said she took it easy for a while, but over break she was able to do everything.”I still wear a knee brace when it is icy, but my knee should not be a problem in the future. My pinky may be a bit of trouble, but I have a really good doctor here to work on it,” she said.In the future, she said she plans to graduate with a degree in meteorology and go on to graduate school and do research.”I am very happy to be back. It feels great,” Minish said. “Everyone has been wonderful about welcoming me back.”