Excellent healthcare saves teacher

Evan Bakker

Mr. Loecken, a BSM religion teacher notorious for his engaging social justice classes, plummeted 17 feet from the roof of his house last Tuesday. Although his head and back were unharmed, he suffered a long list of injuries, including a concussion, a broken nose, a fractured arm, a sprained wrist, and a stitch in his lip.

Last December, his bathroom had water damage, which he had fixed. He suspected that it had to do with his roof, but his roofer blamed his contractor. “I was getting mixed messages, so I wanted to go up and see for myself and check the vent,” Loecken said.

On his first step back down the roof, Mr. Loecken slipped, and the laws of physics played themselves out from there. “I tried to grab the dormer, which only slowed me down a little. Then I caught my foot on the gutter,” Loecken said. After catching his foot on the gutter, Mr. Loecken lost consciousness and remembers nothing immediately after.

“My injuries tell me I flipped off the gutter and fell on my head. I landed on my hands, broke the fall, then landed on my forehead,” Loecken said. Although his daughter was only a few feet from the accident inside the house, he was not found for fifteen minutes. “Once my daughter found me she told me that I would say over and over: My name is Joel and I’m in trouble,” Loceken said with a tinge of humor.

He did not regain full consciousness until the ambulance ride to the hospital. They performed a CAT scan on his brain and vertebrae, which showed no problems. After being treated for his other injuries, he was able to return home the night of the accident.

This swift and excellent care from the hospital prompted Mr. Loecken, who leads Students for Fair Labor, to make a comment on our health care in America. “I received unbelievably good health care,” Loecken said. “I had no infections or any complications. If I was in working in a sweatshop, they would’ve thrown me out on the street and wished me luck.”

Although his injuries are numerous and most certainly painful, Mr. Loecken added, “the hockey players were impressed.”