NAFUSA board member Tom Maroney will be unable to attend the September conference in Washington. Tom fell on August 16 at his home in Syracuse and fractured his neck. His wife, Mary Kay, reports that he “got up Friday evening and in a sleepy state walked down our upstairs hall in the dark, turning towards the stairs. He fell the full length of the stairs and fractured and dislocated the cervical vertebrae (C5 and C6). He was transported by ambulance to our trauma center where he had emergency surgery both Sunday and Tuesday to repair the damage. Due to the nature of the injury he is very fortunate to be alive and have some movement in his arms and legs. The doctors are calling it a miracle as his injury to the spine and spinal cord usually result in paraplegia or death. The past week has been a very rocky rollercoaster with intubation, resuscitation, surgery, and overall fragile stability…. His brain is as sharp as ever and his greatest frustration is the very constricting neck collar which makes you feel like you are being strangled.”
On August 30, Mary Kay advised that, “Tom continues to make slow but steady progress but we are looking at months of rehab with the goal of full function of his arms and hands. The MDs are very optimistic and have told us they expect ‘full recovery in 6 – 9 months’. Of course this is the goal and Tom is working hard to make that a reality.
Yesterday he was transferred from Upstate University Hospital to the Acute Care Rehab Unit (located at Upstate at Community General Hospital). He is in Rm 424 there. This morning at 7:30 he began physical therapy followed by occupational therapy for about 3 hrs/day. We expect he will remain in the Rehab Unit there for about 2 weeks. Then we hope the next step is home for in-home PT and OT.”
Tom and Mary Kay, shown below at the Atlanta conference, will be missed in Washington, but we will hope and pray for an early and full recovery. If you wish to send a note, his address is: Upstate University Hospital at Community Campus 4E Room 424, 4900 Broad Rd, Syracuse, New York 13215.