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Tom’s Story

Tom was injured when a truck hit & ran over him in a crosswalk on Mon. Nov 16 at 6:01pm. He was brought by EMS to Rice Hospital & airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital.

An account has been established at Lake Region Bank in Willmar, MN under the name "Thomas Sykora Benefit Fund."
1690 1st Street South
Willmar, MN 56201-3483
(320) 235-5900

Published November 18 2009

WILLMAR — A 58-year-old blind man is in critical condition at St. Cloud Hospital after he was run over by a vehicle around 6 p.m. Monday at the intersection of First Street South and 19th Avenue.

According to Willmar police reports, Thomas Dennis Sykora, of Willmar, was crossing 19th Avenue in the crosswalk, when he was struck and run over by a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Gary Lee Mattson, 55, of Willmar.

Sykora, who was wearing a bright yellow jacket with reflective tape, using a white cane and being led by his guide dog, suffered serious chest injuries. He was taken by Willmar Ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar and was later airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition as of 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Mattson allegedly left the scene, but was located later by law enforcement officers. A witness reported seeing the vehicle stop, pull out to turn and then bounce as it ran over the pedestrian. A Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy was immediately on the scene and provided medical assistance to Sykora.

The incident remains under investigation by the Willmar Police Department. Sykora’s guide dog, Nectar, did not appear to be injured in the incident.
Published November 20 2009Blind man hit by vehicle upgraded, is reunited with his guide dog

WILLMAR — Thomas Sykora, the 58-year-old blind man who was run over by a vehicle Monday evening, has been upgraded to serious condition at St. Cloud Hospital.

According to postings on Sykora’s web site, Sykora suffered multiple broken ribs, a broken right ankle and a broken right scapula.

He was taken by Willmar Ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital and was later airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital.

In addition to treatment for the broken bones, he has tubes draining fluid from his chest, supplemental oxygen and was receiving pain medication and antibiotics to combat infection through intravenous fluids.

He had been transferred out of the intensive care unit on Wednesday evening.

Posted at 8:35 a.m. Thursday: “This morning dad is in the most pain he’s been in thus far.

The PCA isn’t effective for adequate pain control so he’s also receiving stronger oral pain medicine too.” PCA is an acronym for a method that allows a patient to administer his own pain medication periodically.

Family members had brought his guide dog, Nectar, to see Sykora. “She was choking herself, pulling like a sled dog, just trying to get to his side. We put the bed rail down on his left side so she could nuzzle his arm. She hasn’t left his side since. :),” the post said.

As of Thursday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed against Willmar dentist Gary Lee Mattson, 55, who allegedly struck Sykora and ran over him around 6 p.m. at the intersection of First Street and 19th Avenue Southwest.