WILTON – Every day, Ken Sprague writes his updates. Some days, he writes several, letting friends, family and even some strangers know that his wife, Mindy, is going to pull through.

“She wakes up crying and reaches for me,” Ken wrote on Monday. “I rub her head and tell her how much I love her and that everything is taken care of and she’s going to be fine. Then she goes out again.”

With every update, support from the community follows; thoughts and prayers and well-wishes. Across the Wilton area and beyond, hundreds, if not thousands, are pulling for 34-year-old Mindy Sprague, badly hurt last week in a freak train accident in Skowhegan.

It happened at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 28. Sprague was training with the company Sappi Fine Paper at a train yard at Somerset Mill.

According to Ken’s account of the accident, Mindy had been stepping off a cart as a train was backing onto a loading dock. Somehow, Ken said, Mindy got sucked into a 4-inch space between the train and a concrete wall and she became pinned. As Mindy suffocated from the pressure, a co-worker screamed at the conductor to pull the train out.

Mindy was eventually freed from that space, but the damage to her body was almost unimaginable.

All of her internal organs were damaged by the crushing weight of the train and there was internal bleeding in multiple areas. All of her ribs were broken, Ken said, as were her hips and wrists.

“She should not have survived,” Ken wrote in one of his updates. “The doctors said people don’t survive this sort of thing. But she did and she is fighting.”

To those who know Mindy the best, that fight is no surprise – the mother of two sons, Mindy is tough, they say. She’s also utterly devoted to those she loves.

“She is strong-willed, and loves her husband and kids like no other,” said Mindy’s sister, Sarah May Veilleux, of Jay. “Mindy and Kenny are workers, they have always done things on their own, they never ask for help. Mindy and Kenny have been together since she was 14 years old. These two are what love is all about. Mindy is so strong and she will make it through this. I know she will.”

“Thing about Mindy is, she never gets mad,” says Michelle McMichael, one of Mindy’s closest friends, “and if you’re mad, she makes sure to change that – anytime I feel down, I always text her or she sends me a goofy Snapchat. It’s the small things. Her heart is as big as the sky; she would do anything for anyone.”

Mindy was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where she has remained in intensive care. Sappi has confirmed the accident, although they have not commented further. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

For the time being, Mindy’s family and friends are focusing their attentions elsewhere.

On Thursday afternoon, Ken posted an update on Facebook.

“Mindy rested well last night as did I,” he wrote. “She is still resting well now and I am continuing to monitor her from behind the curtain. She looks comfortable and everything is lower and stabilizing.”

As has been the case all along, Ken’s updates are quickly followed by dozens of comments from well-wishers.

“You guys are truly amazing,” wrote Krysta Luther of Farmington.

“She is so strong, Ken, so beautiful,” wrote Sarah May Veilleux. “I’m so glad she has you by her side.”

Some of the support comes from those with whom Mindy worked at the Walmart bakery in Wilton. The Sappi job, Ken said, was just a sideline.

“She started the job to try and challenge herself,” Ken said. “She was enjoying the challenge and kicking its ass. All her co-workers loved her.”

Her co-workers at the bakery love her, too.

“Mindy Sprague works in the bakery,” wrote colleague Rebecca Fischer, “and is always full of smiles. Last week she was in a major accident and is fighting for her life. Please pray for her and her family.”

All day, every day, support has been coming in from a variety of people, some who know Mindy well, some who barely know her at all. A GoFundMe page was set up to help Ken and Mindy to cover some of their expenses while Mindy is on the mend. Although the medical expenses are bound to be extraordinary, Ken described his family’s lifestyle as minimalist.

“When me and my wife are walking out of here, we will go back to work as soon as possible,” he wrote. “I will never complain about the things I do not have … All I want is my wife and kids and to be home living our normal life. And we will be.”

Ken and Mindy have been married since August 2002.

“They have a remarkable relationship,” McMichael said. “Been together for so long they finish each other sentences.”

Their sons are 8 and 13 years old.

“They are amazing, strong people,” said Veilleux, Mindy’s sister, “who take the world on together no matter what.”

Among those who have donated to the family’s GoFundMe page are area businesses, such as Shelly’s Hometown Market in East Wilton, as well as people who encountered Mindy as customers at the Walmart bakery.

“I was shopping recently and you asked me if I needed help and you were so nice,” wrote Stephani Ellis, of Wilton, on the GoFundMe page. “I can tell you are a great person just by your vibes! Keep fighting! You got this!”

By late Thursday afternoon, as they waited for more updates from Ken, Mindy’s friends, family and customers continued to show their support. The mood of the Facebook thread had changed over the past week from appalled concern to almost giddy optimism.

“She is going to get through this,” McMichael said. “We are all her fans.”

Mindy and Ken Sprague with their sons Jackson, 8, and Keagen, 13.

Mindy Sprague

To donate to Ken and Mindy Sprague and receive updates, visit gofundme.com/mindy-sprague. Donations can also be made by contacting Renee Woodard at [email protected] or 207-645-3120.

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