Intermountain Life Flight, critical care nurse’s injury threatens livelihood

Timothy Gee recovers after his first surgery to help restore sight to his left eye, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Trevor Gee, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Timothy Gee, an Intermountain Life Flight and critical care nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Dixie Regional Medical Center has rushed to the aid of many patients throughout Utah in their time of need. Now, his family is asking the community to come to his aid after an accident left him without sight in his left eye.

With the prospect of multiple surgeries and a chance he will not be able to continue working as a nurse, a GoFundMe page entitled “Save Tim’s sight!” has been set up to help raise funds to help Timothy Gee and his family with medical expenses during this difficult time.

Timothy Gee rests in the emergency room after an accident left his without sight in his left eye, St. George, Utah, Oct. 11, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Trevor Gee, St. George News
Timothy Gee rests in the emergency room after an accident left him without sight in his left eye, St. George, Utah, Oct. 11, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Trevor Gee, St. George News

On Oct. 11, Timothy Gee was working in his garage with a table saw when it kicked back a piece of wood he was cutting, throwing it into his face. Although he was wearing thick glasses, the force of the wood knocked the glasses from Timothy Gee’s face, smashed into his eye and sent him to the ground, his son, Trevor Gee said.

“His eye was bleeding, the glasses were smashed and he couldn’t see,” Trevor Gee said.

When Timothy Gee first arrived to the emergency room, the doctor told him to be prepared to have his eye removed because the damage was so extensive, Trevor Gee said. Further examination determined that he would not need his eye removed, but the severity of the damage was such that he is facing permanent blindness in his left eye.

The loss of sight to one eye will dramatically affect his ability to perform his job as a flight and ICU nurse, his co-worker, Kelsie Montgomery, said. Loss of vision will alter his depth perception and his ability to perform the delicate tasks required in his profession, Montgomery added.

He was told by doctors that he may need to change careers, Trevor Gee said.

In addition to his job, Timothy Gee loves to shoot guns, and the injured eye is his dominant eye for aiming, Montgomery said.

“He has to relearn how to do everything from his job to his hobbies,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery describes Timothy Gee as a happy guy who is always smiling, one who never hesitates to help others whether it be a patient in his care or a co-worker in need of help.

He is also not one to give up, Montgomery said.

Trevor Gee said that there is still hope to recover some sight in his father’s eye through treatment at the Moran Eye Center located in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah medical complex.

The center is widely considered one of the best eye institutes in the United States and, Trevor Gee said, it is miraculously located in Utah.

Still, Timothy Gee is facing an uphill battle that includes the potential for multiple surgeries and costly treatments that the family cannot afford to do on their own, Trevor Gee said. The family is asking for donations through the GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.

Montgomery said:

(Timothy) has helped multiple people throughout Utah whether they realize it or not. He has been there for families during the most critical times in their lives and now we hope the community will help him.

Timothy Gee recently underwent the first of potentially many surgeries and is in good spirits his son said.

“We are very, very hopeful,” Trevor Gee said.

Ed. note: When making charitable contributions it is advisable to consult with professionals for tax advice and investment risks.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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8 Comments

  • Bob October 27, 2016 at 11:19 am

    stuff like this happens and it sucks, but it sounds like they may be in denial about the reality of things. he can still do nursing with 1 eye, but his life flight career is over and they need to accept it. i find it slightly offensive that even a nurse doesn’t have good enough coverage for this type of life changing injury and is reduced to begging $ on gofundme. anyways best of luck to him

    • RealMcCoy October 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      People beg for money on Gofundme for as little as a flat tire. or a bad hair day.

      Now that’s not to say that this guy has dropped to that level, so don’t flip out.

      There is nothing wrong with asking for funds to pay for a ‘hail mary’ surgery. I’d rather help pay for this guy’s eye surgery than some federal prisoner getting taxpayer-funded ‘gender reassignment’ surgery.

      Don’t knock his medical coverage either. He probably pays for the same coverage most medical people have, and covers the basics. This was not an ‘on the job’ injury, whereas his place of work would cover his medical costs; this was him in his own home, and he had an injury that happens to affect his profession.

      I hope his surgery’s help restore even some of his sight, otherwise his uphill road to recovery will be a rough one.

    • .... October 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      I find you 2 be offensive. .

  • debbie October 27, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    there was a time that you entered the medical profression for two reasons, A. b/c it is your calling and you can’t seem to want to do anything else.. and B. the insurance coverage was supposed to be top of the line. I am sad his coverage doesn’t cover this promising places procedures. Life flight nurses and doctors and pilots are a rare breed, they are constantly in the air, risking their lives.. i read somewhere ten or fifteen years ago, it is the number one job you are most likely to die in. They do it b/c someones got to and they stepped up to the plate. i have absolutel no funds and if i did i would really like to give to this brave man. I am so sorry this happened to him and i will pray the Lord finds a way for him. Miracles are real.. I hope all that can help him WILL.

  • jigsywinnietippy12 October 27, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Please give this poor man a break, accidents happen! I am a retired nurse from Intermountain, and their insurance pays 80%, so the patient is responsible for the other 20%. I retired a few years ago, and it is probably the same now. There is nothing wrong with a GoFundMe account for this type of problem. I wish I had lots of money to donate to him. I can’t believe how negative some people are. Best wishes Timothy.

  • Bob October 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    So even working in the healthcare industry the best insurance only pays 80% and we got all these mormon “conservatives” sitting around all day spewing their perceived “evils of socialized medicine”, meanwhile having to beg money from family and friends on gofund for cash to cover the other 20%–just seems ironic.

    I worked with a guy who got a bad eye injury–he got a piece of metal shot into his eye after the thing he was metal grinding came apart. Depending on the severity of damage to the cornea and lens–well, if they were considering removing the eye that’s not a good sign. Might be hard to accept, but living with 1 eye is a lot better than blind. they weren’t able to fix the guy i knew in the least–he gets by fine on 1 eye now. its a shame folks are reduced to what is essentially internet panhandling just to cover medical needs.

    y’all have a wonderful night and god bless

  • .... October 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    LOL ! what a load of B.S

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