News from Waikato District Health Board
American Kirsten Steinke, 28, who was involved in a car accident near Waitomo Caves on 20 September in which her husband died, has been transferred out of intensive care to the newly opened high dependency unit at Waikato Hospital.
Her condition has improved to the point that she can begin her recovery and gather her strength, her parents said today.
Jim and Gerri Steinke say their daughter was continuing to communicate with them and hospital staff “thanks to the world wide efforts of support and prayer by so many.”
Her condition is now listed as serious but stable. Messages of support from New Zealand and the US have been posted on Waikato DHB’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
“We would like to take this time to thank all the nurses, consultants, support staff, and registrars in the ICU for their tireless efforts in caring for Kirsten.
“We would like to give a special thank you to Annette Forrest and maxillofacial surgeons Steve Evans and Simon Lou for ensuring that Kirsten’s jaw surgery was accomplished before more serious problems developed.
“Daunting obstacles of staffing, coordination, and unexpected emergencies were overcome to speed Kirsten’s healing,” the couple said.
News from Waikato DHB – October 1
Jim and Gerri Steinke and Gary and Jean Stithem have today thanked everyone for their continued support, offers of help and immeasurable kindness following the fatal crash at the Waitomo Caves intersection on SH3 on Thursday morning 20 September.
Kallan Stithem, 31, died at the scene while Kirsten Steinke, 28, was brought to Waikato Hospital by the Westpac Waikato air ambulance where she remains in a critical condition in intensive care unit.
Mr and Mrs Stithem returned home to Denver, Colorado last week with their son’s ashes. A vigil attended by more than 100 people was held for him in downtown Denver last Thursday night US time (Friday afternoon NZ time).
“We have very little ability to thank everyone as our focus is on Kirsten,” said Mr Steinke today. “But please be assured we are reading every email and every message passed onto us. In time we will respond to them,” he said.