Local stroke patient is met with the surprise of a lifetime

Lincoln native Don Kringel is a car buff who owns six vintage classics. After 6 weeks of inpatient care, he was released from Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals.

He suffered a stroke, that in part, left him unable to speak right now. His friends and family decided to meet him at the entrance of the Lincoln campus on 54th and South St. 

They brought nothing better than the purring support of their hearts and motors. “He’s amazing to me, have nothing bad to say about the boy,” Don’s brother John Kringel said. 

“It’s overwhelming that we have so many great friends and they care a lot about don. And they’ll be escorting us home and coming in to visit,” Don’s wife Shirley Kringel said. 

His friends say Don is a real stand-up guy to them and this is the least they can do for him.

“They’re all very close relationships to him. He’s worked on their cars, he’s done things over the years for them, and they, him. It’s been a real good thing for him,” John said. 

Every Tuesday, the group likes to take a ride to Culvers where they have a meal and some frozen custard.

“We’re just grateful for the friends and the good care he got here at Madonna, and grateful to be going home,” Shirley said. 

Kringel is also self–taught and learned how to work all of the parts of any of these classic cars.

An unforgettable moment for Don, his brother remembers a time about a ’54 Chevy police car that he, himself, will never forget.

“He wanted me to bring it over so he could polish the paint out. I said ok, I went back a week later. It was as red on the bottom as it was on the top, I mean he painted everything everywhere. The car was just fantastic. So that’s the way he is,” John said. 

They say his 6 weeks out was just too long and that he can’t wait to get back on the horsepower.

“He’s not a real patient person. He’s kind of a go–getter and when he can’t do something that he wants to do, then it’s really hard on him, but he kept his cool and they kept their cool and everybody did a wonderful job. These people know what they’re doing,” John said. 

The group will be meeting at Culvers tonight with their cars. They know in no time, Don will be back joining them!

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