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Herzog recovering well at burn center

Michael Herzog

Mike Herzog of Detroit Lakes, who was seriously burned in a propane explosion last month, is recovering well at the Burn Center in Regions Hospital in St. Paul — where he arrived in critical condition, with second- and third-degree burns over 76 percent of his body.

Sheri Zastrow wrote Thursday on the family's caringbridge website that Herzog's recovery is nothing short of miraculous: "The Region's Hospital Healthcare team shared that, 'there must be a Beam of light coming down in this room (Michael's Hospital room) because his healing has defied all reason,' His surgeon said she is shocked! A nurse who was in one of his early dressing changes stated she would have NEVER believed that he wouldn't have needed skin grafts, nor have his skin heal to the point where he won't have the visual effects of the burns. We have experienced a Miracle!"

Herzog, a 2014 graduate of Detroit Lakes High School, was injured Sunday morning, March 17, in a gas explosion in a fish house in a parking area in Moorhead.

Alone at the time of the explosion, he had been using his propane stove for heat, and when it went out, he lit a match to get it going again, not realizing the fish house had filled up with propane.

Herzog was a three-sport athlete at DLHS. He won two state golf championships and is the all-time scoring leader in football. The son of Mike and Jodie Herzog of Detroit Lakes, Herzog finished his senior year with the Concordia College Cobbers football team last fall before taking a position with the family business in Detroit Lakes.

Zastrow reported that: "Michael's skin continues to heal each day, producing "new seeds." Michael has been working very hard on his Occupational and Physical Therapy. He has pushed himself to walk multiple times around the Burn Unit, even without a walker! His new travels have taken him to the Rehabilitation Center to increase and perfect his skills. He has been able to stand at the sink and brush his teeth. He made a comment about, "death by Sonicare" since that toothbrush is a little too heavy to hold in his hand. He said something that he has wanted to do since he was admitted to the hospital was to be able to reach up and scratch his head. Well, he can do that now too! He has been able to start feeding himself and actually displays a desire to eat some "elk hotdish" that was delivered to him from a former Cobber football player, Connor Butenhoff.

Jodie and Mike said "the pain Michael has had to push through to accomplish these tasks is mind-blowing!"

Zastrow said Herzog's medical team is impressed with his recovery process. "They are saying this experience defies all explanation! One member of the team said that they will be talking about Michael for a LONG time! He is 'wowing' everyone!"

The team believes Herzog will be able to come home around Easter.