After electrical accident, benefit planned for Reese
WORTHINGTON — A benefit for Cody Reese, son of Dan and Robyn Reese, will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge, Worthington. Reese suffered first-, second- and deep second- degree burns during an explosion on July 20 at a Sibley, Iowa, plant.
A 2010 graduate of Worthington High School, Reese worked as an electrician for Current Electric.
The morning of the explosion, Reese and his co-workers had completed switching power lines to a new transformer and “had everything taken care of,” Reese remembered. “All we had left to do was put the cover on.”
Reese estimated he was standing three feet away from the explosion that left him dazed.
“I heard people screaming and saw people’s shirts were on fire,” he said. “And people were coming out of their houses, and we were waiting for the ambulance to get there.”
Reese and four other victims were rushed to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley. Reese was later transported to Sioux Falls, S.D., due to the severity of his injuries.
When Reese arrived in Sioux Falls, doctors determined 15 percent of his body — including his arms, abdomen and face — were covered in burns. The majority of his injuries were in those areas. Four days later, doctors skin grafted skin from his thighs to his arms and abdomen to quicken the healing processes.
“That was worse than the burns,” Robyn Reese said. “It was very painful, especially on the donor site. It took him a while to be able to walk again.”
Reese spent 10 days in a Sioux Falls hospital undergoing surgeries and treatments, including twice-daily whirlpool treatments. He has now returned home and is doing occupational therapy to continue his progress.
Reese is hoping to learn when he will be able to return to work at his next doctor’s appointment Sept. 12. In the meantime, he is careful to avoid any exposure to the sun, as his newly grafted skin will burn instead of tan.
“I can’t mow the lawn until it’s almost dark out,” he said with a laugh.
Reese’s medical expenses are covered through workmen’s compensation, and the Saturday benefit will help offset living expenses.
The event is organized by Reese’s sister, Rachel Stinehart, and her husband, Korey. The free- will donation meal will include pork chops, baked potatoes and coleslaw. An account titled “Cody Reese Benefit Account” has also been established at United Prairie Bank, Worthington.