Junior with myotubular myopathy returns after breaking hip this summer.
Sarah Nelson| Staff Writer
Levi Bauer is a familiar sight in the halls of Bethel, speeding past streams of people in his power chair and leaving his nurses to catch up. The junior is often found attending Bethel athletic events, and is known for his love of the Vikings. He was diagnosed at birth with myotubular myopathy, a genetic neuromuscular disorder causing extreme muscle weakening. Because standing and walking are often difficult for those with the disorder, a wheelchair is often required. When a broken hip halted his arrival to Bethel this fall, many were left wondering his whereabouts.
Late in August, just days before he was scheduled to move back to Bethel, Bauer broke his hip on a massage table, as fragile bones are common for those with myotubular myopathy. Attempting to turn him around on the table, Bauer’s mother and a nurse pulled on opposite sides of his body and cracked his hip, leaving him unable to sit up.
After a total of 12 hours in appointments at three different hospitals, doctors began thinking about leaving the hip broken until someone had an idea to create a shoulder replacement for the hip. The idea worked and Bauer was able to begin recovering – a long process that included a reclining wheelchair instead of his usual motorized version. Because of this, he was unable to return to Bethel.
“(I was) very bummed,” Bauer said. “But I ended up coming back.”
Friends of his were bummed as well. When senior Halle Marr heard the news, she paid him a visit at his home. According to her, Bauer was upset about having to miss school, but didn’t fail to look on the positive side.
“That’s probably what I admire about Levi the most,” Marr said. “A lot of circumstances in his life have not been in his favor. Through facing much adversity throughout his life, he has developed much character.”
As of a few weeks ago, treatment has allowed Bauer to return to Bethel and pursue his business and human resources major and minor in athletic coaching, just in time to catch the beginning of one of his favorite Bethel activities, men’s basketball. Bauer was posted in his usual spot at the home-opener last weekend, adjacent to the student section.