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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are having to make tough decisions between their jobs and protecting their loved ones at home.

The challenges health care workers face don’t stop after their shifts end. The anxiety of possibly bringing something home with them is a constant worry.

They are the backbone to the health care system. The work they do has been crucial to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Indiana on Tuesday again topped its record high for hospitalizations. Hospitals statewide were treating 3,279 coronavirus patients, the Indiana State Department of Health reported Tuesday, and that’s more than a 300% increase since late September. Also Tuesday, the state reported it’s nearing another record for the most deaths in a single month, with 103 new deaths noted Tuesday, pushing November’s total to 991 deaths, or 50 fewer deaths than Indiana’s high for all of April. An additional 5,700 Hoosiers also have tested positive, the state said Tuesday.

Bruce and Danniel Tutterow are both health care workers. Bruce works as a LifeLine critical care transport nurse. Danniel, is a computed tomography technologist at IU Health Methodist Hospital. Both are reminded daily of the dangers of the coronavirus.

“I think the most stressful part is how quickly things are changing and evovling,” Danniel said.

They’re parents to a 5-year-old girl named Harley. Bruce’s dad has multiple sclerosis, and Danniel’s sister has asthma. They both provide child care for Harley while Bruce and Danniel are at work.

To protect the whole family, they’ve taken extra precautions at work and at home. They started cleaning their cars weekly, changing clothes in the garage, and other safety practices.

Bruce said, “You never want to be that person that brings it home to your family. You never want to be that person that gives it to anyone in your famiily, or circle of family that you utilize to help take care of your daughter.”

The Tutterows want the community to know the coronavirus pandemic isn’t just about their family but the health and well-being of all the people risking their lives on the front lines and their families .

Danniel said, “Wear a masks, lead with grace and kindness, especially with the holiday season coming up. We have no idea the struggles other people are going through.”

Now that the vaccine is closer to becoming a reality, Bruce and Danniel said, they do plan to take it when they get an opportunity.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Brownstown teen who was almost killed in a crash two months ago, recently reunited with the healthcare workers who saved his life.

(Photo of Brandon Stuckwish)

The doctors at IU Health Methodist Hospital said they used a new technology for the first time and that’s what made the difference for 17-year-old Brandon Stuckwish. Now they hope his story helps save even more lives. Now, every step Brandon takes as he walks to the hospital, even amazes his doctors.

“You look great!” said Dr. Ashley Meagher, MDMPH assistant professor of Surgery, as she saw Brandon for the first time since July.

(Photo of Brandon Stuckwish with doctor

The last time she saw him, Brandon was bound to a hospital bed and wheelchair. So this reunion is special.

“God gave me a second chance,” said Brandon.

Brandon’s mom, Kelli Jo Stuckwish, agrees.

“That’s all I can say, it’s a miracle,” said Kelli Jo.

That’s because back in July, Brandon got in a serious crash near Seymour.

“His truck flipped five times and he was ejected,” said Kelli Jo. “He had actually coded three times at the scene.”

Brandon was airlifted to IU Health Methodist Hospital and was losing a lot of blood. That’s where Dr. Meagher took over.

“He had cuts on his scalp, he had arm fractures, he had rib fractures, his pelvis and spine were broken and so were his legs. So he really had injuries from head to foot,” said Dr. Meagher.

The medical team needed time to assess Brandon’s injuries, but couldn’t risk him bleeding out. So, they tried something new.

“We used a technology called REBOA and placed the catheter into his aorta to let us give him more blood and kind of catch up and manage while we figured out what was going on with him,” said Dr. Meagher. “So REBOA stands for endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta. So that is where we stick a catheter into the groin, the femoral artery, we pass a balloon up it. So similar to a cardiac catheterization procedure but this catheter has a balloon and you can inflate the balloon and block the blood flow coming from the heart to the body.”

The balloon controls the bleeding, buying doctors the time they need to assess the injuries. Brandon’s medical team said that the large cut on his leg made him the right, first-person for the new technology.

“The right patient at the right time is kind of, all of the pieces have to come together for it to work out perfectly,” said Jessica Hall, the registered nurse on the surgical trauma unit that cared for Brandon.

REBOA – IU Health

Now the health team is thrilled to see Brandon back on his feet, sporting his community’s motto of Stuckwish-strong. And it’s his wish is that the medical team helps even more people this same way.

“That means it is going to work for other people. Help save more lives,” said Brandon.

It’s a bit of medical history, Brandon said he’s blessed to be a part of.

“From all my injuries and I am walking in two months. It is definitely a miracle,” said Brandon.

Brandon is not stopping with walking and plans to make a full recovery. His healthcare team is confident he can do it.