16-year-old battles brain bleed after train derailment: 'It breaks your heart'


Timmy Brodigen was one of the passengers on the Amtrak train that derailed in Pierce County, Washington on Monday morning.

The 16-year-old planned to spend time with his family in Oregon City the week before Christmas, but now he’s sedated in a hospital bed.

“Timmy is hooked up to every machine known to man that you can imagine, the assistance for breathing just to make sure,” Timmy’s second cousin Tab McFadden said.

Since the train derailment, Timmy's had multiple surgeries and procedures for a compressed vertebrae and brain bleed.

“He needed to have surgery on his neck to repair his C5, in his vertebrae, there was head trauma as well,” McFadden said.

Timmy’s cousin, Tab McFadden, visited Timmy in the hospital Tuesday where doctors and nurses told him Timmy is one of the worst off following the train derailment. McFadden says his cousin is a fighter.

“It just crushes you, it breaks your heart to see this. [Timmy’s family] is strong in faith, we are all praying for them, to see the hurt and the pain in their eyes... it's overwhelming,” McFadden said.

Immediately following the crash McFadden says Timmy was able to speak, helping first responders contact his family.

“They intubated him initially at the triage site and then brought him in. They sedated him and he’s been sedated ever since then,” McFadden said.

The past 48 hours included ups and downs for Timmy. On Wednesday, he developed a fever but also showed progress.

“There has been movement, there is certain movement. He moved his arm this morning. It sounds minor but that's pretty major,” McFadden said.

Timmy will likely be in the hospital for some time, his family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical costs.

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