Clinton teen home after 153 days in hospital

Gordon Woods / Journal — Clinton High School junior, Caleb Zook, seated wearing sun glasses, returned home on Thursday after a hospitalization in St. Louis. Zook was seriously injured in an October 2020 car accident. See the story next week in the Clinton Journal.

Sustained serious injuries in Oct. 2020 car accident

CLINTON — After 153 days in the hospital, you might think Caleb Zook was ready to come home.

“It’s kind of hard to explain, but I started liking it there,” Caleb said.  “I liked it a little too much, and I really didn’t want to come home.”

Caleb received major injuries in a car accident in October 2020.  He spent nearly six months hospitalized, first in Champaign and later in St. Louis.

He returned home last week, receiving a Clinton Police and Fire Department escort to a group of family, friends and well-wishers waiting for him at his home.

And, while he said he sort of wished he were back at the hospital, being home in Clinton would be good, too.

Immediately after the accident, Caleb said he thought, “well, that’s not good,” he said. 

But, he told himself to try not to be sad.  He has actually spent a good deal of time joking about it.

“I kind of get in trouble for it sometimes,” he said.

In an upbeat mood, Caleb said he made quite a few jokes about his accident not soon after he arrived at the hospital, but his mom soon set him straight.

“She made a good point,” Caleb said.  “She said ‘it almost killed you, so it’s probably not a good idea to joke about it’.”

• See the complete story in the Friday, Mar. 12 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.


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