Zach Stirmel, the son of Phillips High School graduate John Stirmel, Jr. and Janet Stirmel, collided with a deer while riding his motorcycle on April 26, 2020.
Zach and his brother, Nick, were at the home of their brother, Jake, working on a roof all day. It started to get dark and sprinkle around 8 p.m., so Zach got on his motorcycle and headed to his home in the Eau Claire area. An oncoming vehicle saw a deer jump in front of Zach just after he crossed the Eau Claire River bridge, and it land directly in front of Zach's motorcycle. Though he is an experienced motorcycle driver, an unavoidable collision happened. His motorcycle went down and Zach was thrown from it.
The oncoming vehicle contained a nurse who immediately started assisting him. Hearing of the accident over the scanner, his brothers were the next on the scene.
Zach was airlifted to Mayo. It was determined he had a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The neurosurgeon did an immediate craniotomy to relieve the pressure on his brain, which occurred from swelling.
Almost four weeks later, which feels like an eternity for his family, Zach is still in the Mayo hospital in Eau Claire and is still unconscious. His CT scans show a lessening in swelling, but his doctors are taking it day by day. While some improvements are being made, the family explained his recovery "is a marathon and not a sprint."
Zach is married to Mariah and has two young step-daughters. He has a dog named Oakley who he loves very much. Zach also loves riding his motorcycle, fishing, and kayaking. He enjoys grilling with special glazes and seasonings and often offers his cooking masterpieces to family and friends.
Donations can be made at the Phillips or Eau Claire location of YOUR CBD STORE. Melissa will have a donation jar at both of her stores. Also, 10% of all sales for the next two weeks will be donated to Zach. Due to COVID-19, her Phillips location has been closed but will re-open on Thursday, May 21st from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Stop in to welcome YOUR CBD STORE PHILLIPS back to business and make a donation for Zach. Melissa's store is located at 126 North Lake Avenue, and she will be open in Phillips from Thursday through Saturday each week. You can contact Melissa through her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/YourCBDStorePhillipsWI/
To find out how you can help Zach and his family by donating to their GoFundMe page, being a part of his "prayer army," or sending a note to support Zach or one of his family members, visit http://zstirmelstrong.com/