Jenny Crain in critical condition after being hit by a car

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Jenny Crain in critical condition after being hit by a car

This topic contains 23 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  ed 11 years, 2 months ago.

  • Author
  • #6550


    Many of us in the Milwaukee area know Jen well. We have run with/against her (depending on how you want to look at it), talked with her, and have developed a great admiration for her. Surely, all of us who have come to know her as well as everyone else hope to see her make a speedy recovery.

    Jenny Crain, an elite Wisconsin runner training to try out for the 2008 Olympics, is in critical condition after being hit by a vehicle on the east side Tuesday morning.

    Crain, described by friends and teammates as a giant in Wisconsin's tight-knit competitive running community, was jogging west on E. Brady St. when she was struck by a vehicle traveling south on N. Farwell Ave., police said.

    Police said the light was about to change when they collided. The driver stopped and remained at the scene.

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article



  • #23490


    Oh no.

  • #23491

    WI MTP

    Wow – How fast life changes.  Reminds us all to be every watchful for danger –

  • #23492


    Dogs in the parks, cars on the streets – we really need to keep our eyes and ears on alert.  Take no chances running on the streets, lights or no lights.

    My heart goes out to Jenny and her family and friends. 

  • #23493


    That's terrible news, keep us posted if you should hear updates.

  • #23494


    Ed, it's just a matter of knowing the risks and trying to be aware of them. While it is impossible to be 100% safe all the time, being alert and knowing what to look for goes a long way. Drivers are usually predictable. If you know they are there and can watch them for even just a couple of seconds, you can usually know whether or not they will be a risk. That said, Jen has been a runner for a long time. She surely would have been capable of reading a driver and, running on the east side, she surely regularly does just that. It just goes to show that you can't always avoid everything.

    Anne, I'll surely post any updates here as soon as I am made aware. Hopefully, anyone else will do the same if they hear an update before I do. The latest I heard was that she underwent surgery yesterday afternoon for her head injuries and is in recovery.

  • #23495


    Obviously Jen is a very accomplished runner and when she recovers she will get back into great form.  Running on the East side of Milwaukee is dangerous.  You get a combination of drivers that just don't give a damn and drivers that think they always have the right of way.  Of course there are drivers that are carefull and yield the right of way – but when I ran and drove in that area the bad outweighed the good.

    I hope that Jen recovers quickly and can resume her training.  It is very sad that this happened at all and even more so to happen as she is nearing a pinnacle in her career.

  • #23496


    For anyone who wants to keep up to date on Jen's status Froedtert Hospital has a website for their patients. Go to, register for an ID, and look for the page supportjennycrain.

    An update from the page posted this afternoon:

    2  August 22, 2007 at 02:30 PM CDT
    After undergoing surgery yesterday Jenny is in critical condition. The extent of her injuries has become clearer. As a result of the accident she suffered brain damage, broken vertebrae, damage to the carotid arteries, among other injuries. The most serious concern now is bleeding on the brain. The neurologist has indicated that Jenny is now in a waiting period to see if the bleeding will stop.

  • #23497


    As one of the nation's elite runners, Jenny Crain dreamed of running for her country at the Olympic Games.

    At 39, her goal was to run the marathon in Beijing next summer, according to her coach, Mike DeWitt, and friends.

    “She's been focused on that for a long time,” said Kristine Hinrichs, a friend and race director of Milwaukee's Lakefront Marathon.

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story

  • #23498


    It is wonderful to see the support for Jenny – there are already 145 messages on her care page.

  • #23499


    From the Care Page:

    August 23, 2007 at 08:15 PM CDT

    “Positive & Hopeful”

    Today Jenny’s family met with the multidisciplinary medical team caring for her. She has not gotten worse and seems to be minimally improving. Doctors are putting in a tracheotomy and feeding tube today. This is a very good development because it will provide her more comfort and the nutrients needed to promote healing.

    Her condition remains critical, with continued focus on treating her brain, vertebrae, carotid artery, and jaw injuries. The care team cannot get a full assessment of the brain injury until the swelling in the brain subsides, which as been decreasing in very small increments. The family had many questions about the brain injury, with the doctors unable to give an accurate assessment until the swelling decreases. While Jenny has broken vertebrae the doctors did report that it does not appear that she has spinal cord damage. While this is hopeful news, it is not conclusive.

    Jenny is not in a coma. She is under heavy sedation and receiving pain medications to keep her comfortable. Jenny does not have any broken bones in her legs, arms and torso. The focus is on her head and neck injuries.

    The doctors were positive and hopeful at this early stage of Jenny’s long road to recovery. Because of her excellent physical condition Jenny is at an advantage in her fight to recover.

    Jenny is such a positive and hopeful person. The news today reflects her spirit.

    Please keep praying and sending your positive energy to Jenny.

    We will post additional information as it becomes available.

  • #23500


    I won't keep posting the daily updates (unless I'm told that they are wanted) unless major news breaks after today. However, here's today's update:

    August 24, 2007 at 04:38 PM CDT

    August 24, 2007


    Jenny’s condition remains very similar to what was reported last night. The doctors were able to successfully insert a feeding tube and perform a tracheotomy. This is important to get the nourishment she needs and will make her more comfortable.

    Jenny family is “so grateful for the support and kindness” friends and colleagues of Jenny have expressed since the accident. Many of you have sent flowers or have asked how you can help Jenny in this critical time. Jenny’s family is asking that we hold off on sending flowers to the hospital.

    Jenny will need our strong support for her long road to recovery. To that end, the family is developing a fund to assist Jenny. Details will be available early next week on how we can contribute to the Jenny’s fund.

    We will continue to post daily updates to this site.

    Please keep your messages, photos and stories coming. These give great comfort to Jenny and her family.

  • #23501


    Yesterday evening's update included information on a fund for Jenny, which some people have expressed interest in. Information is included below in yesterday's update.

    August 27, 2007 at 08:22 PM CDT

    August 27, 2007


    Jenny had a slightly better day today with her brain condition stabilizing in the past 12 hours. Jenny had been tentatively scheduled to have surgery on her neck injury. With the brain condition fluctuating over the past few days, her medical team has postponed that operation. A benchmark to watch for in the next several days will be when she undergoes surgery. That will tell us that her doctors believe that her brain recovery has improved enough to proceed with surgery.

    She is in a very tough battle with a long way to go. Jenny needs all of our help now more than ever.

    There are two important ways you can help Jenny now:
    Make a donation and/or send a card.

    Today the “Jenny Crain — Make It Happen Fund” was established with the help of M&I Bank. Jenny’s family created this fund so Jenny’s relatives, friends, teammates, and colleagues can help with Jenny’s care. There are two ways you can make a donation.

    1. Send a card with your donation to:
    Jenny Crain – Make It Happen Fund
    c/o M&I Bank – Mail 098-9120
    Attn: Cathy Haukedahl
    651 Nicollet Mall
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    2. Visit any M&I Bank and let the teller know you want to contribute to the Jenny Crain – Make it Happen Fund

    To find an M&I Bank locations please visit:

    Please send your cards only to:
    Jenny Crain
    1952 Commerce Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53212

    Jenny’s family sincerely appreciates everyone’s love and support during this difficult time. With your help Jenny Will Make It Happen!

  • #23502


    The amazing support for Jenny continues – there are now nearly 300 messages of support for her and her family.

  • #23503


    From Jenny Crain's care page – on 9/4


    Two weeks after the accident Jenny doctors today performed surgery to repair fractured vertebrae. The four-hour operation was successful and Jenny is recovering. Her brain pressure levels remained stable during the surgery.

    While this is a very important step, Jenny remains in critical condition. Her medical team is looking for signs that she trying to take control of some functions. There has not been any real progress in her ability to communicate. Every individual with serious head injuries responds at a different pace. Her doctors indicate that some people show signs in a few weeks, others in a few months.

    There are no other surgeries planned at this time.

    Jenny’s family was very pleased with today’s operation. Most importantly, Jenny’s ability to handle the stress of surgery as well as she did is a hopeful sign.

    Please keep your prayers and messages coming.

    Jenny also had surgery on her jaw injuries that were successful.

  • #23504


    Update 9/5


    Following a successful surgery to repair Jenny's fractured vertebrae, her medical team today took the next step by taking her off the medications that are keeping her sedated. This is an important next step enabling Jenny to start forward progress in regaining consciousness. Now we will be looking for signs of Jenny coming out of the controlled state she has been in since the accident.

    Jenny has been in a reclined position and her head has been completely shaved. Her family indicates that she looks much better with the “Sinead O’Connor look.” The response to the surgery has been really good. Her color looked very healthy. Aside from the serious injuries she looks “like a healthy Jenny.”

    Jenny is showing a lot of potential.

    There is no word tonight from the medical team on the next steps.

    Jenny’s family is hopeful following the operation and Jenny’s positive response.

  • #23505


    This is copied from the care page.


    Jenny today continued to take small steps forward. Late this afternoon as Jenny’s family was getting an update on her condition, Jenny was in her ICU room sitting up in a chair.

    Jenny remains unconscious and in critical condition.

    The results of the MRI confirmed that Jenny sustained extensive brain trauma in the accident. Her care team advised that it is too early to know the full, long-term ramifications of her injuries.

    There is hope that Jenny may be beginning to respond to the aggressive treatment her doctors are directing. Over the past 24 hours she has begun to show small and important signs of coming to as evidenced by eye and movement. Jenny has begun clearing her throat and she is successfully breathing on her own after the removal of the ventilator yesterday. Her respiratory infection appears to be under control.

    The goal over the next few weeks is to get Jenny transferred from the ICU to a unit where she can receive more visitors. This is a milestone Jenny can aim for and there is no timeline for this goal.

    Medical evidence indicates that people can recover from serious brain trauma. Every individual responds differently to serious head trauma. With Jenny making forward steps there is potential. Time will tell.

    Sadly, this weekend in Milwaukee Jenny will not be defending her 2006, 2005 and 2004 titles in Brigg’s & Al’s Run. Last her Jenny won the women’s division 8K with a time of 27:25. Jenny’s family is grateful to the many people in the running community who are expressing support for Jenny. Following the race there will be a booth in the expo where people can help Jenny Make it Happen

  • #23506


    This is the most recent update – a must read

    September 16, 2007


    Tonight Jenny was moved from ICU to 5NW Room 18 at Froedtert Hospital. This is an important milestone reached by Jenny. Jenny will been taken off all of her antibiotics by Wednesday indicating that her infection has been successfully addressed.

    For the third straight day Jenny’s eyes are open and moving. She seems to be showing increased eye movement and is occasionally following objects around the room. Jenny is also beginning to exhibit some muscle resistance in her arms when her family is helping her with range of motion therapy.

    Jenny’s family is deeply appreciative of the entire care team in the ICU. Please join in thanking the medical team for their outstanding treatment of Jenny.

    Yesterday Briggs and Al’s Run occurred on the streets of Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the event reported it this way:

    “Jenny Crain wasn't there Saturday to defend the title she has won the past two years at the Briggs and Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital.

    But her spirit was certainly in attendance.

    Crain, the well-known Milwaukee marathoner, remains in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital, where she has been since Aug. 21. On that day, Crain was hit by an automobile in Milwaukee while on a training run.

    Crain, 39, who had been given a strong chance of making the 2008 United States Olympic team, is suffering from head, jaw and neck injuries. The three-time winner of the 8-kilometer Al's Run's was in the hearts and minds of many of the competitors and spectators at the event, which is in its 30th year.

    “I have never run in this event before, but I wanted to be here today for Jenny,” said women's winner Bethany Brewster, 27, a six-time All-American runner at the University of Wisconsin from Madison. “It felt good to come out here and race for her.”
    Many of the runners and spectators wore “Make it happen” T-shirts supporting Crain.

    Al's Run organizers gave space to the Crain supporters to sell the T-shirts, the proceeds of which will be used to help defray her medical costs.”

  • #23507


    This is a copy and paste from her carepage.

    September 21, 2007


    Today Jenny responded to direct stimuli for the first time since the accident more than four weeks ago.

    Her doctor asked her to lift a finger – Jenny Made it Happen!

    Then she asked her to lift two – Jenny Made it Happen again!

    Jenny did this more than once before several witnesses. This is a very positive sign.

    The next goal Jenny, her family and friends are working toward is to get her to be awake for three consecutive hours.

    Jenny’s care team has asked that visitors limit their visits to 10-15 minute intervals. She needs the energy to work with the physical and occupation therapists. Jenny needs visitors while making sure she has the capacity to work with the rehab team.

    Please keep coming to see Jenny so we can help her Make it Happen.

  • #23508


    This is another copy and paste –

    September 22, 2007


    While Jenny's mom Donna was visiting today something special happened. Here is Donna's email describing her observations:

    “Just wanted everyone to know that when I visited Jenny this AM with her friend Amy Edwards from N.Y., I asked her to give me a peace sign. She smiled slightly and gave me the peace sign with her right hand.



  • #23509


    September 26, 2007


    Today Jenny was discharged from the hospital and transferred to Columbia St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. Jenny was wide-eyed as she was transported across town. She settled in well and was quite tuckered out from the move.

    Beginning tomorrow at 7:30 AM Jenny will start an intensive rehabilitation regime that will include training her to swallow (once her jaw is healed and unwired) and physical therapy.

    As Jenny acclimates to this new environment, visitation will be limited to family-only for at least the first week. This is designed to give Jenny the most energy and the best chance to benefit from rehab. Jenny’s family and her rehabilitation care team will revisit visitation conditions next week.

    Please send cards and flowers to:

    Columbia St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center
    c/o Jenny Crain
    #2 Center
    2025 East Newport Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI 53211

    Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive to Jenny. She needs you now more than ever.

  • #23510


    Over the next week we will be migrating these updates to Jenny's new web site — Please visit this web site and give us your feedback.

  • #23511


    For reasons that some of you know and the rest will find out possibly soon, while I'd love to be there, I probably won't be able to make it. However, good music, good beer at half price, good food, all for a great person. How could you go wrong?

    Thursday, January 17th
    Milwaukee Ale House
    233 N Water Street
    All beers 1/2 price
    $10 cover, with 100% going to Jenny
    Please tell your friends!!!

  • #23512


    Update from –

    November 5, 2007: Week 11

    Jenny recently had surgery to remove the wires from her jaw. During that procedure she had two metal plates inserted into her chin. Someone observed that she looks “a little like Jay Leno ” with her post operative swollen jaw. The doctors noted that it appears like she has most if not all of her teeth, with the likely need for braces and other oral work in the future. This is very good.

    Jenny remains at Froedert Hospital recovering from issues resulting from the surgery. Later this week it is expected that she will return to the rehabilitation center.

    Since our last posting Jenny has been in intensive therapy. There have been more lucid moments where she is making eye contact and following people around the room. Jenny is looking at visitors intently, staring people right in the eye. The other day she softly kicked a ball and had other movements of her body. While this may seem relatively minor these are important victories for Jenny.

    These are long and difficult days for Jenny and her family. The work ahead is tough and Jenny needs all of us to be there with her for the new type of marathon she is running. We owe it to you to give you more updates than we have in the past few weeks. Everyone can expect at least one update every week.

    Please continue to support and pray for Jenny.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.