Tragic accident prompts ‘advance directive’ discussion

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A tragic sledding accident in Klamath Falls is sparking discussion on end of life issues, when patients can no longer speak for themselves.

Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke was critically injured in a sledding accident in Klamath Falls over the weekend.

Van Dyke is not expected to survive, but she may still give life to others through organ donation.

Sally-Ann Palcovich points out that those decisions must be made in advance.  “Advance directives are the decisions that you want to make about what happens when you can’t make decisions.”

Planning guides on advance directives can help you and your family prepare.

“It’s a very difficult conversation.”  Notes Sky Lake’s Tom Hottman.  “But, a very necessary conversation.”

That discussion can address life support, pain management, and organ donation.

“Eyes, corneas, bone, tissue – those kinds of things that we don’t even necessarily think about.”  Adds Palcovich.

Dr. Van Dyke was dedicated to the health of her community, and even now, she continues to inspire.

“She was bubbly, enthusiastic, energetic.”  Recalls Sally-Ann Palcovich.  “But very, very committed to our community.”

Hottman adds that Van Dyke provided another life lesson:  “Nothing is impossible for Stephanie.  And if you go into a situation with that attitude, you can’t lose.”

You’ll find a free copy of an advance directive guide online at:  www.oregonhealthdecisions.org

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  “The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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