Car accident injures PC freshman, mom

by Kaylee Bandstra/

Freshman Ella Bandstra and her mom, Anne Bandstra, received injuries from a car accident after colliding with a Hummer in northwest Iowa on February 21. Ella and her mom told their story of the crash by answering the following questions.


Eagle’s Cry: Tell the story of what you remember before the crash.

Ella: We were headed up to Northwest Iowa to see Mary Kate and Lucas (sister and brother) at Dordt. We were about 20 minutes away on a 2-lane highway. I had just woken up from a nap and thankfully readjusted my seatbelt. My mom and I were talking when my mom suddenly interrupted and said, “Surely that car is going to stop.” She slammed on her brakes, and that is the last we both remember before the accident. We hit a Hummer that ran a stop sign going about 70mph. The rest is a blur. We were both brought to the Orange City ER and life flighted to a South Dakota hospital.


EC: What is your new normal?

Ella: My mom and I are home after spending 18 days in the hospital. I currently am on a liquid only diet and still have a g-tube coming out of my stomach for drainage. The hematoma–a large bruise–is blocking my intestines, but that slowly is shrinking. For 16 hours a day I am hooked up to an IV of TPN, which is how I receive my daily nutrition. My mom is patiently waiting for her vertebrae, sternum, and ribs to heal. Until then she wears a brace and is very limited to what she can lift and do.


EC: What has been the toughest part of adjusting to your new ‘normal’? Are you still adjusting?

Ella: It is tough to not be able to eat. I am always pretty hungry. Thank goodness for ice cream! Also as I heal, there will be a lot of cramping as my digestive system wakes up. Being connected to TPN is very limiting and it is hard to move around during the hours I am hooked up. My mom is unable to do everyday activities and chores, which is hard for her because she is a busybody! She still deals with soreness and pain. We also need to continue with x rays and checkups in Des Moines, which has been overly difficult with the risks and restrictions with COVID-19.


EC: How much time do you need to heal?

Ella: This is currently week #6, and both of us are making slow progress. We are hoping for full restoration but have not been given an exact time on how long it will take.


EC: How have people helped you and your family?

Ella: The amount of love and support from PCHS has been awesome. The amount of texts, cards, gifts, & flowers has been amazing. Double braid day was so thoughtful and fun, too. Since we’ve been home, people have brought meals and groceries. We are all so very thankful for the abundant donations that people have given. Overall, we have been surrounded by an army of prayer warriors throughout this journey.


EC: How has your family helped you?

Ella: My dad, Mary Kate, and Lucas spent the first week in the hospital with us in Sioux Falls. There they helped us through some hard days. Since we have all been quarantined at home–which is a blessing in disguise–Lucas and Mary Kate have been sure to keep me entertained and smiling every day. It would be very boring without them here. Everybody has been helpful around the house, letting my mom and I rest.


EC: What can Pella Christian do for you?

Ella: The staff has been so understanding and helpful with homework. The prayer support and encouraging words mean so much to us. The student body has shown so much support as well. What a gift to be so surrounded by such a caring community of friends & family.


2 thoughts on “Car accident injures PC freshman, mom

  • April 15, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Still praying for your family. Glad you are all together in your home even though online classes may make things crazy some days. Praying you continue to heal and rest.

  • April 15, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    So glad to hear you are both making progress! I think about and pray for all of you often. I’m still sad that my trauma rotation took me away from your care. Keep up the fight, I’m rooting for you! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *