On Saturday (8/10) morning, Ted was found face down outside of his NJ home by a friend. He was almost fully unresponsive and had been outside since the previous evening (8/9) where temperatures had dropped below 50°. 911 was called and an ambulance took him to Hunterdon Medical Center where initial tests were run, and vitals taken. Due to the severity he was immediately helicoptered to Morristown Memorial Trauma Center with a severe spinal cord/column injury. As of now, from what his surgical team and doctors have gathered, he will be paralyzed from the waist down for the remainder of his life. He has use of his arms/hands, but motor skills are limited at best right now.
He was placed on a ventilator and taken into surgery Saturday early afternoon (8/10), where his surgical team put screws and rods in place and stabilized his spine - this was in attempt to regain as much mobility in his arms/hands and upper body as a whole. Surgery went well, they were unable to remove the ventilator Saturday due to complications. Thankfully, early Sunday (8/11) afternoon they were able to remove the ventilator, which was great news to hear - and he regained ability to speak almost immediately which was a sign of relief.
Ted and all of his family/friends are indebted to and grateful for the friend that happened to stop by Saturday morning and found him — as his surgeon relayed to us that if dad had remained outside for approximately 1 hour longer, he would have died from hypothermia. Dad lives alone, and Friday evening lost his footing on steps outside his home and snapped his neck on a nearby concrete ledge. This is what he relayed to his team of doctors and surgeons about his fall resulting in his paralysis. He was unbelievably scared, and thought he was going to die out there; as he could not move and was laying lifeless outside for over 9 hours during the cold front that rolled in Friday evening into Saturday morning. All he could do was pray that someone would stop by and find him.
He is still in surgical ICU at Morristown Memorial Trauma Center. His oldest daughter is currently handling his finances/assets/etc. while exploring options of potential insurance plans for him, as Ted is currently without health insurance. With him living alone, my parents being estranged and his three daughters not residing in NJ, getting a visitation calendar set up will be crucial when Dad is eligible to be released from ICU. There are so many unbelievable blessings that have occurred thus far and all we can do is continue to work our hardest for him, and for these blessings to continue in plenty.
On the paperwork side of things, most pressing are getting Ted’s health plan situated in order for him to be accepted into the best rehab facility possible. At this point we have been advised that Kessler Rehabilitation is the best of the best when it comes to spinal related injuries. Which is where we intend to get him enrolled upon discharge from Morristown Medical. For Kessler, or any rehab facility, to be a viable option means getting Ted applied and approved for a health insurance plan that is accepted by Kessler, social security disability, temporary state disability, countless applications, paperwork, speaking with social workers, attorneys, insurance advisors, etc. The majority of this is underway; however, being a new realm for his daughters to research, any and all input and guidance is welcomed. Please feel free to text/call Kelsey (908.752.3028).
Ted is currently being visited daily by his (3) daughters, Kelsey, Emma & Charlotte; his (3) sisters, Ann, Sara & Sharon; friend Ray and Pastor May of Zion Lutheran in Oldwick. Once he is cleared to be discharged from the Surgical ICU wing of MMC, he will be transported to a 'regular' hospital room where visitation and things like sending cards/sentiments/etc. will be much easier to schedule.
That said, this was not a situation that Ted, nor any of his family/friends/support system anticipated receiving; but in times like these you must drop everything and rally, as we all know that family comes first. We are ELATED with Dad's spirits. They have remained high and so unbelievably grateful to be alive since his admittance. With conditions as We appreciate your patience during this unexpected and emotionally, mentally and physically draining time. We will provide updates when able.
Prayers are what are needed at this point in time. Prayers for continued positive spirits, healing, rehabilitation, health and miracles to wash over Ted. It’s going to be a long journey, but dad is so tough. He’s gonna beat this. We just know it!