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“We women are Steel Magnolias. Dealing with unexpected family happenings like this simply comes with the territory.”

By Rebecca Angel Baer
March 15, 2021
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Since Wednesday, March 10, we have held our collective breath and said many prayers for the Drummond family following a terrible accident on the ranch that left both Ree Drummond's husband Ladd and their nephew Caleb in the hospital. While attempting to put out a grass fire in conditions that created poor visibility, the two were driving in separate fire trucks and collided head-on, as People first reported. We got an update from the Pioneer Woman herself the following day, "I want to thank you all for your prayers for our family. Caleb and Ladd are in the hospital, but we think they will both be okay," she posted on her Facebook page.

Today, we have word that our collective prayers and good thoughts have been answered and both Drummond men are home recovering. Ree released a detailed update on her website providing more detail on what happened to them and the extent of their injuries, but most importantly, she is assuring us all, that they are going to be okay. There was some confusion in early reporting about Ladd's injuries as he initially refused medical treatment at the scene.

"Ladd was stiff but able to walk around immediately after the accident, so he refused medical attention. This was partly because he wanted the paramedics to focus on Caleb, partly because he was still a little stunned by the accident, and partly because cowboys don't like to admit when they're hurt," she wrote. Then adding that he attempted to drive himself to the hospital but that he called Ree on the way, "at which time I promptly lost all feeling in my knees before running out the door and heading to town."

Ladd, ever the tough cowboy, had suffered two fractures in his neck, one of which, Ree described as "very close to being catastrophic." He was transferred to Tulsa for surgery, to the same hospital where Caleb was also being treated for broken ribs, a fairly severe concussion, and what Ree described as "a few other injuries that will heal." Tim, Ladd's brother took turns sitting vigil by his son and his brother's side, while Missy stayed with Caleb and Ree was with Ladd.

"Shoutout to the Wendy's next door to the hospital for getting us through. Frosties are truly medicinal in these situations," she declared with her typical humor shining through this harrowing time for the family. But the mom of five said more than once that the most important thing was that both Caleb and Ladd would fully recover. Speaking specifically of Ladd she said, "he will have to wear a neck brace for several weeks to let the other fracture heal, and the girls and I will bling out the brace for Alex's wedding…but we are just grateful he will be here for Alex's wedding." And as of yesterday, both Ladd and Caleb are home from the hospital.

Ree then reflected on how she was doing through all of this, as her daughters have repeatedly asked their mom.

"I looked at them and said, simply, 'I am good.' After all, we women are Steel Magnolias. Dealing with unexpected family happenings like this simply comes with the territory. I guess if you've lived enough years as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, you're going to develop the ability to power through crises without crumbling. I may still have a crumble ahead, don't get me wrong…but right now I'm firmly in Steel Magnolia mode."

She continued, "I am 'good' because even though it's been hard to see the guys in pain, I have such a vivid picture of how very different (and how much worse) things could have turned out for our family last week. For both Caleb and Ladd to be okay—injured, yes, but fixable—after seeing the condition of their trucks makes me not want to spend one second complaining."

Ree ended her post by saying she is focusing on gratitude "not just for the guys being okay, but also for the love, kindness, and prayers of so many of you."