Thursday, September 3, 2020, 12:19 – 12:21PM Bernadette Feucht, affectionately known as Bunny, called three times. I was on what I thought was an important business call (ha!) I called her back asap. She was in tears. Thom had gone out for a bicycle ride at 8:30 and told her it was going to be a short ride. It was a late start and he hadn’t had breakfast yet. By 12:30 it was clear something was wrong. Thom wasn’t home and he wasn’t answering his phone. He always sent pictures and called. Bunny knew, as a dearly loved one does, that something was not right. She had been driving different routes Thom might have taken since 10:00. He was always exploring different roads, new parks and beaches looking for something new to learn. He’s always been a curious guy.
Thanks to the Indian River County police department, Bunny found Thom. He had been airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, 15 miles from their home in Vero Beach. There had been a bike accident near a construction area. The story from the police goes something like this. Workers saw Thom go down and immediately called for help. They didn’t see a car nearby, so we are all guessing - a rut in the road? A frog, snake, pebble or…? Thom is tall. He rides a big bike and he goes fast. We are beyond the “how” and trying to focus on the “now”.
Now we are here: Sunday, September 6, 2020. Thom has a serious brain injury, most severe in the lower right temporal area. Brain swelling (expected) and bleeding. MRI reports no spinal injury. The nurse mentioned a sedation vacation in the mornings which sounds like something we would all enjoy.
This afternoon his three daughters facetimed with him. They sang to him and Thom reacted, moving his head and hands and opening and closing his mouth and eyes. This is where we are now. And it will keep getting better. He is stable and waiting for your prayers, positive energy of any persuasion. This will be a long, slow recovery. Bunny needs Thom. His girls, Anna, Calla, and Chloe need Thom. The world needs Thom.
Thom’s life in Florida: I have never seen anyone fall in love with Florida like Thom did. He was enthralled with the tropical life. Binoculars waiting on the patio table to assist in identifying birds, ducks and geese. A daily up-close examination of the banana tree was made, hands were counted, and pictures shared with great enthusiasm and pride. Sunset pictures too. His retirement in Florida was complete with a small home he and Bunny remodeled. Thom is good with his hands musically and around the house.
Thom was enjoying his gigs playing at riverside restaurants, beachside bars and roadside pub, until Covid. Then his joy was in being it was home with Bunny and taking daily bike rides. His joy is infectious. I could go on and on about the love shared between Bunny and Thom. Though they try to live a private life – that kind of love and exuberance for life overflows to neighbors, friends and family no matter how distant through space or time.
Just last Tuesday, Thom’s new Taylor guitar was delivered along with a t-shirt. Bunny told us he was like a kid unwrapping it right there at the front door. He wanted to tease and tell us he bought a t-shirt and it came with a free guitar. That’s Thom.