Columbia Playwright Focused on Recovery After Concrete Mixer Rollover

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It’s only fitting that someone with a name like Hartley Wright can often be found with a pen in hand.

The Columbia playwright is really a man of two passions, though. For the past six years, he’s also worked part time driving a concrete mixer.

But in early August, on a stretch of Highway 63 near the Columbia Regional Airport, Hartley’s dream turned into a nightmare.

“We had gotten a radio call from some of our local EMS providers that there had been a cement truck rollover,” said Jeffrey Coughenour, MD, medical director of the trauma center at University of Missouri Health Care.

When Hartley arrived at MU Health Care’s Level 1 Trauma Center, Coughenour and a team of experts quickly assessed his injuries. He had broken ribs, a broken collarbone and broken neck bones, which caused an artery in his neck to narrow. Doctors put in a breathing tube, as well as three tubes in Hartley’s chest to help remove the air and blood surrounding his lungs.

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