Wednesday, June 29, 2016 started out like any normal day for Don Goodenough. Don was at work, descending a flight of stairs with a few coworkers. He went to take a step and missed. One step, one instant, changed his life forever. He fell down 15 cement stairs, breaking his nose and cutting his head on the way down. Internally, however, he had a bleed in his brain which caused a significant stroke. The stroke has caused the paralysis of his entire left side. Three days after the accident he had a decompressive craniectomy which allowed his brain to swell and to essentially save his life. Since then he has battled fevers, infections, and seizures. He has endured more than any person should, but he is a fighter and will continue to fight.
After 2 1/2 weeks in the hospital ICU, Don spent 30 days in an acute rehabilitation center. There he began to learn how to sit up, swallow, eat, all the small things we do everyday and take for granted. He is currently in a sub-acute rehabilitaion facility where he is working on reading comprehension, writing, and using his right side to compensate for his left. Essentially, his life is starting over.
If you've ever met Don Goodenough, you certainly would never forget him. With laughing eyes and a ready smile, Don loves meeting new people and making friends. His family lovingly refer to him as the "Unofficial Mayor" of Sauquoit, Clayville, Cassville, and surrounding towns. He loves his family, his friends, his community, and his brotherhood. Don has been an active volunteer firefighter for 42 years for almost every fire company in the encompassing area and has held many offices. Currently, he is the President of the Oneida County Firemen's Association. Being a firefighter is an integral part of who he is. Being an active member of the fire department is just one of the ways he is involved with his community. He was also a Boyscout leader for Troop 50 of Sauquoit, having a positive, lasting impact on the lives of many men. He volunteered at events and lectored for St. Patrick's church in Clayville until it closed its doors in 2009. He has been involved in countless fundraising events for churches, fire companies, and schools by cooking his famous BBQ chicken. Don loves to be involved and would do anything for anyone; He is a selfless man.
We were told, in cases like his, the recovery is a marathon. Progress isn't measured in hours and days, but rather in weeks and months. He is in a wheelchair right now, but hopefully he will regain his ability to walk, just in time to walk his daughter down the aisle in April.
Don has health insurance coverage, but it is limited and dictates his length of stay in rehab. His last day is October 17th and from there he will need an at-home caretaker as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapies. In order for him to be discharged, his home must be ADA compliant so that he can navigate himself in his wheelchair. Extensive and expensive home repairs are underway to open up doorways, create appropriate living spaces, and make the bathroom accessible. The ADA compliant shower alone costs $5,000. The funds raised would go towards offsetting the costs of the renovations and medical supplies he needs to be at home with his family. Some may give a little, some may give a lot, but every dollar is greatly appreciated and would mean so much to us. For so many years Don has supported this community and this is one way in which we could all rally around him. Thank you all so much for the love and support!