18-year-old man who fell 40 feet near La Crosse bluff remains in coma

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Branden Hellerud, a recent graduate of Logan High School in La Crosse and soon-to-be father, suffered multiple injuries when he fell 40 feet near Grandad Bluff Friday night.

The 18-year-old Hellerud suffered a punctured lung, four broken vertebrae in his neck, seven broken ribs, a fractured face and two skull fractures, among other medical problems, Jennifer Guidry, a close family friend, said.

“Please pray for Branden Hellerud and his family,” Guidry said. “They definitely need the prayers and love.”

Hellerud also was diagnosed with pneumonia on Tuesday, Guidry said, but his temperature has started coming down. On Wednesday, a draining tube was removed from Hellerud’s skull, and he was taken off of paralytic medication, she said.

Hellerud is being eased off of sedation, said Guidry, who said his mother, Amanda, and the rest of his family have been by his side at Gundersen Health System since the incident happened.

“They are there from the time they can visit to the time they can go home,” Guidry said.

Guidry organized a GoFundMe page for Hellerud that can be found here.  The page has raised more than $1,600.