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Big Bass Bash Family Suffers Tragic Loss in Lake of the Ozarks Boat Crash; Links and Updates

Dawn Marie Steinkuehler (most of us knew her as Marie Terrell), daughter of Big Bass Bash founder Randy and Diane Terrell, was killed after the boat she was riding in was hit by another vessel. Four others were injured, including Marie’s husband, Brad and 13 year old daughter Hayden; both remain in critical condition. Most of us know Marie and the Terrell family due to their very popular fishing tournaments, Anglers in Action and Big Bass Bash.

This article will be continually updated with news items, and other relevant information regarding this tragedy.

Update from Sunday 8-16 from Bill Al and Marie’s Sister Cherie

Hayden 8/16

Hayden continues to progress everyday.  I (Cherie) have been blessed to be able to spend several nights with her.   In an effort to get my mom home some, she and I will start alternating nights spent at the hospital.

Physically she is progressing well.   She is definitely gaining strength with all the therapy she is getting.   Just a week ago she was crying and unable to get herself from a lying to a sitting position in bed and now she can do that almost by herself.   She cannot stand alone or walk unassisted yet, but I feel she is  on the right path and will be moving that direction soon.

She still has the feeding tube in her nose but is only getting the feeds during the night.    She orders off the hospital menu for meals but doesn’t eat very much at all.     This will come in time.   Hopefully the exercise and therapy will stimulate her appetite.

Hayden can recall most events prior to the accident, but has some difficulty remembering a few things.   I asked her when she got her chinchilla and how old was he when she got him.   She couldn’t remember either, but she does remember him and his name – Diego.   She remembers trips we’ve taken, and all her friends and family.

She continues to ask for her mom and dad, and when she does we gently remind her that mom  is in heaven, watching over her.  And that dad is trying to get better so he can be with her.  The professionals here have told us this will be ongoing for some time and that we should not bring up mom or dad unless Hayden specifically asks about them.  She is to take the lead with these conversations, not us.

Evenings/nights bring a little confusion.    This often happens when patients are hospitalized for a long period of time, called sundowners.   She was able to FaceTime with her friend Bryce and Grace, but started getting confused thinking she was at the lake, so we cut it short.

I spoke with her psychologist, Dr Kline who says that starting this week she will have a very structured routine with scheduled morning therapies, rest, lunch, and scheduled afternoon therapies.    She will also start one on one sessions with her. She emphasized that rest is so important to her recovery, it will be likely that no one is allowed in her room during this time in order to promote a quiet space.

8/16- Brad

Spoke with the trauma resident at great length today. I had some questions pending from earlier in the week that he was able to address.

Brad had an ultrasound/Doppler on both of his legs earlier this week. He is always moving around, working with PT and did not need the sequentials on so it didn’t make any sense to me. I knew the results were negative for a clot but it still didn’t make sense as to why he had it, there was no swelling either. The MD explained that Brad happened to have some shortness of breath while working with therapy. They performed the ultrasound to rule out a pulmonary embolism! Now that made sense!! And thank goodness it was negative.

I hadn’t received a L arm detailed report in a while so we discussed this as well. In the past two days, and this doctor has covered him since he’s been at Barnes, Brad is nearly using his L arm as much as his right. He almost has the same strength score on that side as his R. This is excellent news!! Remember, Brad is a lefty.

Brad’s communication level is so much improved! He is able to ask question, though it is still tough for him to find words. We think he understands most of what is shared but we aren’t exactly sure if he comprehends everything. He is using his manners with the staff and told his mom today that he misses everyone in the family.

Nutrition is now Brad’s biggest hurdle. He is tolerating real food and the goal is for him to eat ~ 75% of his next 3-4 meals. Once he’s able to demonstrate that consistency, he will transition to inpatient rehab.

He will get so much more therapy there, hopefully he will transition there early next week.

Update from Big Al – 8/13



We (Charlie, Diane, Dona, and Cherie) met with Hayden’s psychologist today and then came together in her room to tell her about Marie.   When she saw us the first thing she asked was “where’s my mom”.   We told her there was an accident, that she herself was badly hurt and Brad was too but he was as at the hospital next door.   Then told her mom was hurt so bad and didn’t make it and was now her angel.   No one should have to tell a 13-year-old their mother is gone.

Just now she asked again where her mom was and I had to tell her mom is in Heaven.   She broke down again.   I feel like this will be a repeated conversation for a while.

Physically, Hayden is doing so well.   She has tried to sit up on her own while in bed and is going strength every day. We got her to a wheelchair and took her to a little garden her in the hospital so she could get outside for a few minutes.    She also wanted to go to the cafeteria with us.   She was able to eat a few bites of a cheeseburger and a few bites of an ice cream sandwich.    She is still on tube feedings but I feel with lots of encouragement she will start eating more on her own.

She will start intensive physical and occupational therapy tomorrow.  3 hrs in the morning and then again in the afternoon, everyday.   Sunday’s will only be one session.

Hayden is so sweet and kind and polite.    The staff all love her and we just know she is in the very best hands.

8/13 –


Brad has had a lot going on the past couple of days. He was moved to a step down unit from the ICU and then to a trauma rehab floor.

This means that the level of medical care he requires has significantly reduced. However, he has a few more hurdles to overcome before the next big step.

He is working well with PT/OT. Restraints are off and he is being secured in a chair currently by use of a lap belt.

Since he had a swallow study pending, the team did not feel it was worth the battle with Brad to try and place another tube. (The process isn’t pleasant, imagine swallowing a straw that was put in your nose until it reaches your stomach. And then feeling that straw in the back of your throat all day.) Brad doesn’t work well with them when they have placed them previously.

He did not pass his swallow test today so he is on aspiration precautions. His night nurse is going to work with him, one ice chip at a time, with hopes Brad does better with the swallow study that will be repeated tomorrow. We need him to pass this so we can bypass having a PEG tube placed – a tube that would be surgically placed and would be accessible from his abdomen that would end in his stomach.

His SW spoke with me today and she is working on inpatient rehab placement for him. We are still a couple of milestones away before this happens and placement can take quite some time. There are three centers with high ratings in St. Louis that are certified for brain injury rehab.

Update from Big Al

8/8 Hayden

She is making tremendous progress.  The nurses have told me she talks about Her dog and cat and especially Spencer (her horse) and how she loves to ride him.   She also talks about her friends and school.

They have started speech, occupational, and physical therapies with her.   Yesterday the speech therapist tried to advance Hayden to soft foods by seeing if she could handle macaroni and cheese.   Unfortunately she is not ready for that, so puréed food will continue for now, with the tube feedings.

Physical Therapy really wears her out so she is napping more during the day.   She is not able to Bear weight on her own, but they do get her to a standing position with several people supporting her.   There is a PT room on her floor where they work with her.

Nighttime seems to be especially difficult for her and last night was extremely bad with her crying that her head and neck hurt and it hurts all over.  She required extra pain medicine last night.  That didn’t really seem to help very much.

This afternoon physical therapy got her back to the wheelchair.   Hayden cried a lot getting up, it hurts my heart to see her in so much pain.

8/8 – Brad

He continues make progress each day. Every tiny achievement is imperative on his journey to recovery.

Dr. Parks spoke with me today and states that Brad is more alert and starting to speak more words. He is beginning to follow simple commands. PT/OT has been working with him daily and have been able to transfer him to a chair (with safety belts keeping him in place) and assist him to a standing position. He failed his swallow study but that will be repeated on Monday, requires tube feedings until we know it is safe for him to eat food.

Dr. Parks referred to him as a “wiggle worm” but appreciates his desire to move about. His brain requires exercise but also rest. He continues to be restricted from overstimulation – TV, noise, lighting. But short, calming conversations, a bit of TV are ok while caregivers need to be alert for signs of distress. Definitely do not want to challenge him with reading or using a personal computer/phone for quite some time.

Brad is no longer considered to require intensive care. He is teed up for transfer to a step down unit once a bed and sitter are available. He will still require 24/7 close monitoring but that is for his safety more than medical management.

8/5 Update


8/5 Hayden

She had a rough night but a good day.  She took a nap and did not require any extra pain medication.   She sat up in a wheelchair and took a ride around the unit.

She still has tube feedings for most of her nourishment but is also on a puréed diet.  She ate a little strawberry Yogurt and mashed potatoes.

Physical and speech therapy have been started.  Hayden has some difficulty finding her words, and hasn’t been talking much.   But she does recognize us when on FaceTime and says our names.

She definitely has a long road ahead of her but she has made so much progress.

We are having discussions with a psychologist and social worker regarding the appropriate time to tell Hayden about Marie.


8/5 Brad – good golly.

Brad wiggled his way down his bed while in two point constraints and extubated himself in the wee hours this morning. His airway is not compromised at this time and the team is going to monitor him closely for the time being. They will slowly wean him today from the oxygen as tolerated. The miraculous part of this story is that once he extubated himself, his ICPs have been less than 20, he was at 15 when I received the most recent update.

He is spontaneously moving his legs about – they can easily see that he played soccer and hockey. He has been able to follow just a few commands but only after some prompting, he can mirror if someone shows him what to do. Family feels he is more awake today and responding better.

Bolt removal has been cleared by the ICU team but we’re waiting on a neuro surgeon’s blessing. Hopefully that happens tomorrow morning. MRI is to follow but with his legs always flailing about, he will require sedation. The team has some concerns about his constant movements being under control with sedation and his airway protection but we have a little time for them to figure out a solution.


8/3 Update

Funeral Plan for Marie

Services: Funeral from Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois, Friday, August 7, 11:30 a.m. Interment Sunset Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Marie Terrell and Brad and Hayden Steinkuehler GoFundMe or St. Louis Children’s Hospital appreciated. Visitation Thursday, 4-9 p.m.

Steinkuehler, Dawn Marie



8/2 Update from Terrell Family


Funeral arrangements are being finalized and we will have more information later this week for our Angel Marie.

8/2 – Hayden

Hayden surprised us all yesterday with a “thumbs up” when asked to do so.   The doctors got her to repeat it multiple times.   The doctors held the phone up to her while I was on FaceTime and I asked her to squeeze Nana’s hand if she could see me, and she did!   She has opened her eyes a few times today and my mom is sure that she sees her.

She is definitely making progress.

Her oxygen requirements from the ventilator are less than yesterday.

We do believe she is in a lot of pain.   She is very agitated and doctors are checking her lungs for debris.  They will try again to pull the ventilator tube in the next 24/48 hours.   I’m sure her head and shoulder (badly injured) hurt a lot.  She has had a couple of times today where it is apparent that she is crying and she does squeeze hands when asked if she is hurting. Her labs and vital signs are good.

8/2 – Brad

When asking his nurse today if the fact he needs to have a BM and the likelihood he is in tremendous pain from the injuries he has endured are related to his elevated levels.

However, he STILL needs to be off all sedation before the bolt can be removed. Bolt needs to go so we can obtain an MRI in order to have a good idea of his overall clinical picture.

He is still not following commands but has a lot of drugs in his system so the team is not discouraged by this for the time being. The surgical wound on his neck is healing and the dressing type is now dry, the injuries he endured on his L ear are open to air in order to heal.

We will likely have a meeting with his medical providers next week to discuss his case.

We ask that you continue to pray for Hayden, Brad and everyone in the family.  The family greatly appreciates all the messages and donations to the Go Fund me page.

This will be a long process for all involved.

7/30 Update from the Terrell Family

7/30 Hayden

Hayden has had a few bumps over past 24 hours so her sedation was restarted and added another, and she is requiring more oxygen.

Tests were done on her heart and found that her heart is good.   She is a little puffy but her labs are normal.

Really, the next big plans barring any hurdles are to try and wean her sedation again

7/30 Brad –

Trauma cleared and they have determined that the remaining foreign objects that are embedded are plastic and fiberglass.

However, he has a different hurdle to overcome prior to getting that MRI we so desperately want to see.   This will give the doctors a better understanding of the extent of Brad’s injuries.  This may take a few days to a week.

Additionally, he has fluid building up which is still a major concern.

Now for some good news. I was able to spend a tiny bit of time with Brad yesterday and FaceTime Cherie while there. Brad is responding to painful stimulation and also exhibiting signs of purposeful movement. He is not following commands, remember that he is sedated. I could see his eyes moving as Cherie and I spoke to him. As I held his hand he moved his legs as though trying to cross his ankles. It was very moving.

Funeral arrangements are being made for our beloved Marie.  Currently a date is not set but we will let everyone know as we have more details.

Please continue to pray for Brad, Hayden, The Terrell Family and The Steinkhueler Family”

7/29 Update from the Terrell Family

To the Big Bass Bash and AIA Family we would like to update everyone on the status of Hayden and her father, Brad.

Hayden currently is at Children’s Hospital in St Louis, Missouri.  She was transported there this past Sunday.   Hayden’s Neurology Team at Barnes continues to monitor her brain activity for further swelling and complications.   At the same time, they have seen spinal improvement over the past few days which is reassuring as far as movement in her extremities.  Doctors are worried that communication and cognitive skills could be compromised due to her injuries.  Time will tell as she battles her heart out to survive.

Brad is being treated at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO.   Brad’s status is unchanged since he was transported this past Sunday.  Doctors are waiting to perform an MRI in order to discern brain injuries.   There have been complications with the process that the medical team is dealing with at this time.  He has been responding to stimulation but not following commands.  Brad is fighting the fight for his daughter and his family.

We ask that everyone continue to pray daily for both of them.  This will be a long battle that the entire family will have to endure for years to come.  We also ask for you to pray for our angel in heaven, Marie.

We will continue to update their prognosis on this page every few days.  We appreciate the outpouring from the entire community.  We ask everyone to share the go fund me page link in lieu of flowers at this time.

Below are some links for you to follow and Funeral arrangements when announced:

Water Patrol Incident Report

Lake Expo Article

Channel 4 News St. Louis News Report

Case Net Case Against Accused John Bennet

Enter Case #: 20CM-CR00862

Accused Released from Jail on Bond

Go Fund Me Page with Updates

The family has set-up a Go Fund Me Page for donations to assist with medical costs, rehabilitation and other family needs.

The page will also be used by the family to post updates.


Funeral Arrangements, Gifts and Flowers

As of the time of this article, July 28th, the family has not yet announced funeral arrangements.  This will be very tricky as there will be thousands that will desire to pay respects and yet we still have to contend with Covid-19 spread.

As of now the family encourages you to donate on the Go Fund Me Page.

We will be posting updates to this article as we receive relevant information

Please pray for the Terrell and SteinKuehler Family.   The family has expressed their thanks and gratitude for everyone’s prayers, kind words and support.

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