Ree Drummond Gives Update on Husband Ladd's Health One Year After He Broke His Neck in Accident

Ladd Drummond and his nephew Caleb were each driving a Himmat Fire Truck on County Road N3660 when they collided "head-on" while battling a blaze in March 2021

Ree Drummond
Photo: Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond says her husband Ladd is "doing great" one year after he was involved in a scary accident that left him with a broken neck.

In a blog post shared Saturday, the 53-year-old Food Network star said it "is pretty remarkable" to see her husband, 53, in this position after he and their nephew Caleb were seriously injured in a crash while battling a wildfire on the couple's Oklahoma property in March 2021.

Now, Ladd is basically back to his old life, though some impacts of his injury still linger. "He's lifting weights. He's riding his horse. He's feeding cattle and doing all the work on the ranch he always did," Ree wrote.

"Sure, his neck is still a little stiff and probably always will be," she continued. "He can no longer whip his head around when I call 'Oh, Honey????? Can you do me a favor????' from the other room. (And this is probably okay with him, haha)."

Ree concluded, "So all in all, I'm giving thanks today Ladd is pretty much back to normal…just in time for spring burning to start, by the way. I repeat: Jesus take the wheel."

Ree Drummond, Ladd Drummond
Ree and Ladd Drummond. Monica Schipper/Getty

Ladd and Caleb were each driving a Himmat Fire Truck on County Road N3660 when they collided "head-on" due to "high winds on a gravel road" that decreased visibility, according to a report filed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at the time of the accident.

Neither Ladd nor Caleb was wearing a seatbelt, per the report, which noted that Caleb "was ejected approximately 70 feet from point of rest." Caleb was taken to the St. John Medical Center in Tulsa with critical injuries while Ladd took himself to a local hospital, where he eventually had surgery to address his broken neck.

Shortly after the accident, Ree revealed that Ladd had broken his neck in two places. "Evidently one of the two fractures was very close to being catastrophic," Ree wrote at the time.

Ladd and Ree Drummond. Ree Drummond/Instagram

In her blog post on Saturday, Ree said Ladd approached the situation with a "healthy dose of gratitude" after learning how close he was to a more significant injury.

"The surgeon had told us that the fracture in his neck came dangerously close to damaging his spinal cord, and the fact that he was lucky to be able to get up and walk around after surgery was not lost on Ladd," the Pioneer Woman star wrote.

She went on to say life was "pretty tough on Ladd in those first weeks" following his neck surgery, which required him to wear a neck brace afterward.

Ladd was a bit of a mixed bag as a patient, Ree said. At first, her husband "generally obeyed his surgeon's orders when he first got home from the hospital" but quickly "started pushing the envelope about three days later."

"I won't go into detail, but let's just say he got in his pickup and drove around the ranch on day four," Ree wrote in her update. "His seat was almost totally reclined, but by golly, he drove!"

Ree Drummond
Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Ree also mentioned Ladd's appearance at their daughter Alex's wedding in May 2021, during which Ladd briefly removed his neck brace to walk her down the aisle. Ladd rode his horse the day of the rehearsal dinner, too, she noted.

"Fortunately, I've been married to this dude for 25 years and I asked Jesus to take the wheel many years ago, so I was able to throw my hands up and surrender when these envelopes were pushed," Ree wrote, adding, "Thank you, Carrie Underwood."

The physical limitations created by Ladd's injury impacted both his physical and emotional health, Ree said. "I'll be honest that for a little while there, I was afraid the wind had been taken out of his sail a little bit," she wrote.

"I'm not sure how a major accident, a major surgery, and a significant physical recovery could do anything but take a toll on someone who is pretty active and healthy," the star added.

Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond. Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Ree and Ladd have been married for 25 years and share five children together: Alex, 24, Paige, 22, Bryce, 19, Todd, 18, and foster son Jamar, 18.

Back in February, Ladd called Ree "the most capable person I know" while his wife celebrated their relationship on Valentine's Day.

Later that month, Ree revealed the keys to a successful marriage on Instagram: "1. Listen to each other 2. Touch feet in bed right before you go to sleep, even if you're mad. 3. Never, ever ski together."

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