DHS shows support for fellow student Fr. Wiley Corra’s accident

Friends of Corra visit him in Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Aiden Fitzgerald, Noah Bodewes, Logan Moore, Paul Knight, and Marcus Flint run Cross-country with Corra

Friends of Corra visit him in Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Aiden Fitzgerald, Noah Bodewes, Logan Moore, Paul Knight, and Marcus Flint run Cross-country with Corra

Chloe Ragsdale, Reporter

On March 24, 2018, Fr. Wiley Corra was severely injured in Salt Lake City while waiting on a pedestrian bridge for a movie with his father, Andy Corra, and friends.

Wiley Corra’s unpredictable accident occurred as he leapt onto a wall that looked to have grass right underneath it, turned to look back at his dad and friends, then jumped onto what he thought was the grass, but was actually a gap that lead 25 feet down to a service road below.

“When I got to my boy, I was sure he was lost to us. I now know that grief,” said Andy Corra, who frantically rushed down to Wiley after hearing the delayed hit. “Within five minutes, the ambulance was there; ten more and he was at Intermountain Hospital, Level I Trauma Center in Murray, Utah.”

Wiley landed on the the left side of his head and shoulders, where most of the damage from the fall transpired.

He was quickly taken to the hospital and immediately put into a decompressive craniectomy, the removal of a section of skull to allow the brain to swell. Along with significant brain injuries, there was blood pooling behind his left eye and the removal of a few veins in his brain to control bleeding.

“His broken middle finger is splinted high, symbolizing pretty well how he feels about this situation,” Andy Corra said.

Wiley also broke his cheekbone, clavicle, right wrist, and fractured two ribs, as well as fragmented his scapula.

Upon his arrival at the hospital, Wiley remained unconscious for several days, breathing through a ventilator, with no guesses as to how long he would be unconscious for. On March 30, six days after the accident, Wiley’s breathing was more normal with the ventilator, he could slightly move his left arm, hand, and leg, and could track people with his eyes around the room.

Wiley, an avid athlete, who competes in nordic skiing, track and field, cross country, and biking, is also a brilliant student, earning high honors throughout his schooling. He has been said to be working hard every day with his physical therapists, doctors, and parents, who see progressive improvements since the accident.

On April 17, Wiley uttered his first words since his accident: “I know.” Wiley’s response to his mother, Janet Wiley’s, description of the setting of Salt Lake City sparked this humorous response, lighting up the lives of those who love and care about him.

Wiley was transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, April 19, where he and his family will continue his journey to recovery.  

“I think Craig will have Wiley far more engaged and I hope and pray his emergence is timing out right for the challenge. Looking forward to more progress,” said Andy Corra.

Corra also stated that after arriving at Craig Hospital, Wiley has had major physical, mental, and emotional advancements.

Wiley’s goals for the the months to come are slowly strengthening his body and brain with daily physical and speech therapy. As of April 20, Wiley has been greatly improving on his speech and emotional skills, which show how the neural passageways in his brain are reawakening as he is becoming more aware of his situation.  

A Caring Bridge website has been made for friends to contact Wiley’s family and to learn about his current condition with very informative, equally heartbreaking and humorous journal entries by Wiley’s father, Andy. By finding Wiley’s page, people are also able to donate, buy Wiley-inspired t-shirts, and share words of encouragement with the Corras. On Sunday, April 29, a fundraiser was held by the Durango Nordic Center called We Fight for Wiley, where people could run, bike, workout, or paddle to show support for Wiley.

“I choose to believe there is evidence pointing toward a good recovery- certainly the possibility,” said Andy Corra.

The community of Durango agrees with him – Wiley is an amazing, determined, and incredibly strong person, who has the diligence and power to overcome this challenge. The strength of not only Wiley, but of his parents and his loved ones is enough to conquer this obstacle.

Thoughts and prayers of all Wiley’s loved ones and community go to him and his family as we wish for a speedy recovery