Maryanne McCarthy, a Special Education teacher at Westlake Elementary in Santa Cruz, CA is in need of our support. Her son, Harlan, was in a serious car accident and has sustained “life-changing” injuries. His injuries will require a very long rehabilitation. In addition to mounting medical bills and rehab costs, he needs daily home respite care. Many of the medical costs and ongoing care are not covered by her insurance.
Harlan was living in Northern California, near the Oregon border. When he was released from the hospital his mother relocated him to live with her and his brother Jack. Maryanne is a single mom, working full-time. She has no family or relatives in the area. Their family is living on one teacher’s salary and it will be impossible to continue living in Santa Cruz with these new expenses and no support. If the community can not step in, she will be forced to relocate her family.
Harlan was driving home Monday evening, January 8th. He rolled his Ford Excursion on a rural road. His left arm was pinned under the vehicle. It’s not clear how long he was there until another car drove by and called in the accident. Many emergency personnel arrived. It was a long extraction to lift the Ford. The roof had to be cut off to free Harlan. He was non-responsive.
Harlan was airlifted to a hospital in Southern Oregon. From there he was airlifted all the way up to OHSU hospital in Portland, Oregon, because they are a Trauma 1 level facility. Harlan sustained a very severe degloving injury on his left arm from the underarm down to the wrist. He lost muscles, tendons, nerves, and a large amount of skin. He went through three surgeries to try and save his arm. The third surgery was a fairly new procedure to reconnect the nerve. The doctor explained that there is only a 5% chance of his hand regaining use, but that it is a better option than amputation.
When Harlan was released from Portland, his mom directly moved him into her and his brother’s apartment in Aptos because he can not take care of himself. He needs daily wound care for skin grafts, occupational therapy for his hand, and pain management. There have been several up and down and another stay at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz because he was fainting.
It is going to be a long process of recovery. Emotionally, all of the change is difficult. Financially, it is stressful. Physically, coming to terms with what has happened, and what that will mean in the long run, and his day to day care is challening . Harlan is grateful to all of the wonderful care he has received and to the first responders for saving his life.
The doctor in Portland repeatedly called this a “life changing injury”. The intensity of how his life is beginning change is sinking in a month later. As challenging and unexpected as the situation currently is, this change to Harlan’s life could be an important fork in the road for him. Harlan will need to take a different direction to his future plans. He always had physical work and lived in rural places that required a car. Now, he is talking about going to college when he gets stronger. He is going to need to live near medical services and public transportation. It is all a great deal of change for Harlan and change is really hard for him.
For some reason that driver came by the accident , saw him, and called for help. The first responders were able to extricate him in time. The injury missed his artery by a quarter of an inch…. Many miracles occured that Monday night. Harlan was given the gift of a second chance on life.
Maryanne and her boys could really use a helping hand from the Westlake Community now. Please consider donating, any amount will help.
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