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“A miracle at Christmas” Family and doctors were surprised at how quickly an Arkansas man got better after he fell off a 30-foot ladder while putting up holiday lights



Little Rock, Arkansas – After a member of their family fell from a 30-foot ladder while hanging Christmas lights, a Sherwood family who had grown up celebrating Christmas asked for a miracle.

Josh Pretty’s wife, Alissa Pretty, claims that on November 12, while installing Christmas lights for their client, Josh Pretty fell from his ladder. Pretty claims her husband has been doing this service for clients over the holiday season for the past 18 years, so she was horrified to learn he had fallen.

“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.

According to Mrs. Pretty, the 30-foot ladder was a steep drop, and she feared her husband wouldn’t make it.

“We looked together at the scan and we saw this epidural hematoma,” said Dr. Vaktora Spalys, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at UAMS.

When Pretty underwent surgery, one of the surgeons who treated him was Dr. Spalys. According to Mrs. Pretty, the entire experience changed her life.

“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 attended to Pretty when he arrived and adds that injuries like those caused by fallen Christmas ornaments are common during 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.

During the Christmas season, there are, on average, 160 decorating-related injuries reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, with falls accounting for about half of the accidents.

“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.

Doctors were astounded by Pretty’s speedy recovery and the fact that his fall did not result in any broken bones.

“The fact that he is doing as well as he is just 2 weeks after his injury is a Christmas miracle,” Dr. Kimbrough said.

Although they have a long journey ahead of them, Pretty claims he doesn’t recall how he fell, and they still experience happy moments.

Pretty says he is grateful to be alive and is awaiting transport to a rehabilitation facility. Additionally, he claims that he would continue to sell Christmas decorations once he has fully recovered because he and his family enjoy the holiday season and serve 100 clients each year.

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