Aug 222004
 
Authors: Laura Epple

Bright red hearts contrast sharply against the green backgrounds of volleyball practice gear and jerseys – a reminder of fresh blood spilled in a tragic accident. The aftershocks of the automobile accident that killed Janna Klussman and left her husband, CSU assistant volleyball coach Andrew Klussman, in critical condition are still reverberating through the team, family and friends.

The accident happened on June 20 near Cheyenne, Wyo. A drunk driver, in one split second, left the Klussman family in pieces. Car passengers included Klussman’s mother and his two sons, 1-year-old Jackson and 3-year-old Drew. The children were not harmed in the accident, and Klussman’s mother was treated and released shortly after the accident.

While reconstructing life has been an arduous process, the family is tackling it one step at a time.

“Andy continues slow but steady improvement,” said head coach Tom Hilbert of Klussman’s recovery. “He has overcome many challenges to this point, but there are a number of challenges that still remain for him.”

Klussman is slated to return home in mid-September from Englewood’s Craig Hospital, where he has been receiving treatment at the hospital’s center for spinal cord and brain injuries. Although rehab is a slow process, he has been making progress in recovering short-term memory capabilities and is beginning to regain physical capacities.

His players have missed Klussman’s presence this preseason.

“We are dedicating our season to Janna and Andy,” Hilbert said.

Klussman’s efforts during this difficult time have motivated the team members to play harder and literally wear their hearts on their sleeves when they are out on the court.

How Can You Help?

Hospital expenses for the long-term treatment of Klussman’s injuries have exceeded his insurance coverage. He will also require additional in-home medical attention when he returns home.

To help defray these costs, the Rio Mexican Restaurant will be donating 10 percent of its earnings from food sales on Tuesday to the Janna Klussman Memorial Fund. Individual donations can also be made at the benefit.

Unable to attend the event? Direct donations can be made to the following address:

Janna Klussman Memorial Fund

First National Bank

205 W. Oak St.

Ft. Collins, CO 80522

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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