Though still in significant pain and not yet fully back on his feet, Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., is at home and reportedly recovering well from second-degree burns to his arms, legs, hands and left side of his face. The renowned 48-year-old high-performance powerboat rigger, veteran offshore racer and speedonthewater.com test team member sustained the injuries 11 days ago while working on a fuel tank when fuel vapors reportedly caused it to flash fire.
Last August, Grant Bruggemann (fourth from left) joined the speedonthwater.com test for its inaugural sport catamaran roundup on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri.
Bruggemann, who spent more than a week in the Tampa General Hospital Burn Ward, did not require the extensive skin grafts his doctors initially believed would be necessary. But some grafting was needed on his arms, legs and upper body—the injures to his right side were worse than his left—and he still has weeks of painful healing and rehabilitation ahead of him.
“We are home, by ourselves but doing OK,” said his wife, Kellie. “We go back to the burn unit on February 7 for a checkup. “He’s becoming a little more mobile every day—he can walk around for very short amounts with a walker. The grafts should last around two weeks, and he should be back up and going around in four to six weeks.
“Work is still progressing at the shop,” she continued. “Through phone calls and the guys coming to visit, he’s been telling them what to do the whole time, even in the hospital. They text or email me pics and part lists and I order whatever they need.”
A longtime Bruggemann friend, Brian Jackson, who brought his Offshore Outdrives business under the Grant’s Signature Racing roof in October 2017, has started a Go Fund Me campaign to help with what will be substantial medical bills.
Bruggemann, who ran the Pro Floors NZ-1 with New Zealand’s Wayne Valder in the 2018 Super Boat Interntational Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., is eager to get back in the cockpit this season. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Kellie Bruggemann said support for her husband has been overwhelming.
“We have people literally all over the world praying and pulling for him,” she said. “From New Zealand, Australia, Norway and all over the country we’ve had the most tremendous and humbling outpouring love and support.
“He’s more than ready to put all this behind him, and get back to working and racing,” she added.
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