As many of you know, Tommy Cox (MHS Class of 1984), suffered a spinal cord injury over two years ago. For those who are unfamiliar with Tommy's story and to bring those who are familiar up-to-date, on August 5, 2017, Tommy was injured in a water sports accident in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, and he suffered a severe injury to his cervical spine.
On the day Tommy was injured, he was airlifted to a hospital in Scranton, PA where he spent a week in intensive care. He was then airlifted to Morristown Medical Center where he was operated on, and in under a week, was moved to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ where he spent approximately three months. He did well at Kessler as an in-patient, and has remained as an out-patient for the past two years. Tommy’s therapists continue to believe that he has a lot of potential. He currently has movement in his legs and limited ability of his left arm and hand. His right arm has also been getting stronger. Recently, during his sessions at Kessler, he stood with assistance for 50 minutes as well as was put on the Lokomat for the first time since he was an in-patient in the Summer/Fall of 2017. (The Lokomat is a robot/assisted walking device used to improve mobility following a spinal cord or other severe injury.) With continued therapy and the path that Tommy has been on, we know that he will be walking one day in addition to regaining his independence!
As you may imagine, this has been a financial burden. While Tommy’s employer generously continued to pay him until recently, his unreimbursed, out-of-pocket and ongoing monthly expenses are substantial (a conservative estimate is $4,500/month) and include PT and OT, home healthcare aides, medical supplies and equipment, copays for doctors and prescriptions, and payments for a modified van. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, someone of Tommy’s age, with a similar severity of injury (High Tetraplegia, C1-C4), can expect to incur lifetime costs of approximately $2.8 million.
While Tommy is doing well in therapy, there have been numerous setbacks. Medical complications are not uncommon in SCI patients and for Tommy these have included infections, catheter blockages and kidney stones. There have been several trips to the emergency room, numerous medical procedures and several hospitalizations, including a nine day stay this past August.
In an effort to help Tommy with his medical expenses, we are asking for your help. There is a fundraiser being planned for Saturday, January 18, 2020 in Millburn, NJ (more details below), as well as you can donate through GoFundMe, which could include an ongoing monthly donation.
Tommy is an inspiration to us all and we are so proud of him. Your friendship, support, thoughts and prayers since his injury are greatly appreciated and mean so much.
January 2020 Fundraiser
Date: Saturday, January 18th
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Casa Colombo
189 Main Street
Millburn, NJ 07941
Cost: $125.00 per person (includes food; cash bar)
To RSVP, click here or email [email redacted]. and pay through this GoFundMe (if you prefer, cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted at the door, but please be sure to RSVP so that we have an accurate headcount for food!)
We hope to see you on January 18th!
DonationsSee top donations
- Skylie Doodle
- Pescatore Family
- John Andrews
- Don & Janine Meyer
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