U of M wrestlers visit 8 y.o. wrestler grappling with burns

Tyler Schultz’ wrestling teammates in South Dakota are pulling for his speedy recovery – but a little extra “muscle” can’t hurt!

On Monday, Jumeetingne 15, four members of the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gopher Wrestling Team stopped by to meet Tyler and offer encouragement as he receives treatment for 3rd degree burns in Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Burn Center.

Sam Brancale, Josh Shupe, Zane Zeman and Nate Thomas brought Tyler a poster signed by the entire team and visited with the young wrestler and his parents. The event was covered by WCCO 4 News sports reporter Dave McCoy and aired Tuesday, June 16.

Tyler and Gopher Group
Sam Brancale, Josh Shupe, Zane Zeman, Tyler Schultz, Nate Thomas
Angie Whitley and Tyler
Angie Whitley and Tyler

“He’s such a strong kid and he’s made remarkable progress,” explains Angie Whitley, RN, one of the many nurses Tyler has won over during his 45-day stay at HCMC. “Having these wrestlers take time out of their busy schedules to stop by and visit Tyler is so very much appreciated – and I think they enjoyed it, too! Encouragement and hope is a vital part of the healing process for patients recovering from burns.”

In a few weeks, Tyler (who wrestles at 50 pounds) heads back to his hometown near Aberdeen, SD soon where he’ll continue therapy on an outpatient basis.

Eden Prairie’s Sam Brancale (junior) wrestles at 125 and 133 lbs. Josh Shupe (senior) from Marshfield, WI, wrestles at 141 lbs. Nate Thomas (sophomore) is from Mantorville, MN and wrestles at 133 lbs. Zane Zeman (junior) is from Avon, Ohio and wrestles at 157 lbs.
(Left to right) Nate Thomas (sophomore) is from Mantorville, MN and wrestles at 133 lbs. Josh Shupe (senior) from Marshfield, WI, wrestles at 141 lbs. Eden Prairie’s Sam Brancale (junior) wrestles at 125 and 133 lbs. Zane Zeman (junior) is from Avon, Ohio and wrestles at 157 lbs.

Nobody plans to get frostbite

In an “average” year, HCMC’s Burn Center cares for about 25 patients with frostbite requiring hospitalization. In 2014, more than 200 patients were admitted for care.

Dr. Ryan Fey
Dr. Ryan Fey

“It was one of the coldest winters in the past 30 years, so it’s no surprise that we saw an increase in frostbite injuries,” explains burn surgeon and critical care specialist Dr. Ryan Fey. “Obviously, the key is to avoid exposure to extreme cold temperatures. That means staying indoors when it’s cold, and if you have to be outdoors for any length of time, making sure you dress appropriately to stay warm – even if it’s just a run to the mailbox or from your house to your car.” Continue reading “Nobody plans to get frostbite”