Crookston man in burn unit in St. Paul after work-related accident at American Crystal

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    A Crookston man was badly burned in a work-related accident at American Crystal Sugar Company Thursday and was flown to St. Paul in a medical-induced coma to begin treatment. Brett Schulz received burns from scalding water to 40% of his body, on his face, hands, back and legs, and will need surgery, his wife, Jill, wrote on his Caring Bridge page.

    A support account has been set up at United Valley Bank in Crookston in honor of Brett and his family as he undergoes medical treatment.

    Jill says she was awoke by a phone call at 4:15 a.m. on April 8 saying her husband was in the RiverView emergency room due to an accident. When she arrived Brett was awake and spoke to her, but had to be put into a medical-induced coma for the flight to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was prepped to go to the burn unit. Doctors and staff then wrapped Brett’s face, hands and legs, and placed him on a feeding tube and ventilator plus restrained his arms for after he comes out of sedation.

    “Brett will be needing surgery on his legs and back,” Jill wrote on his Caring Bridge page. “The surgeon said that he is very confident that Brett will come out of this well. He stated that he will be in Hennepin County Medical Center for at least a month.”

    “He will need physical and occupational therapy while he is in the burn unit,” she added. “He will more than likely be out of work for at least a year.”

    Jill wrote that Brett spiked a fever on April 9, but his temperature went back to normal by early afternoon. She was able to get an apartment near the center through assistance by the Firefighters Association and she plans to stay there for one to two weeks. On April 10, Jill wrote that Brett opened his eyes and blinked, and that she continues to share messages and prayers to Brett sent by well-wishers. On April 11, Jill wrote that Brett’s body seems to be reacting to the burns and his feet are swollen but that’s to be expected. She reported that his sister, Alison, flew in from Oregon to see Brett and his parents, Dennis and Kristie, have been there to see him as well.

    “Brett, Katelynn, Taylor and I have no words for how grateful we are for all of your loving words and prayers. Please keep the prayers coming!!! We have a very long road ahead of us,” Jill wrote.

Brett and Jill Schulz are pictured with their daughters Katelynn and Taylor