Ralph Lanigan's spinal injury

$37,160 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 411 people in 3 months
Created August 15, 2018
Lynn and Ralph have contributed to many GoFundMe accounts in times of tragedy, And unfortunately, it is they who are now in need.
On Thursday, August 9th, 2018 and while on vacation in Hawaii, Ralph was hit by a rogue wave, tossed and slammed in the surf, and knocked unconscious.
Thankfully, bystanders pulled him to shore, where he regained consciousness,  but he suffered a serious abrasion to his head and trauma to his neck and spine.  He was taken by ambulance to the local hospital to be stabilized and then airlifted to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu and their Neurological Trauma Center ICU, where he remains today.
On August 12th, the neurosurgeon surgically implanted screws in his C3 - C6 vertebrae to stabilize the neck.  He's currently on a ventilator, but they hope to be able to wean him off that as his breathing improves.
Each day, we rejoice in small improvements in his condition.
We don't know when he will be able to be moved, but after discharge, Ralph will need months of physical therapy and may never regain full use of his arms and legs.  Thankfully, he suffered no damage to his brain, and he remains the Ralph that we all know and love.
Being so far away from family and home during this time is hard on them and it may be weeks, or even months, before he can be moved.  Lynn is hoping to stay in Honolulu to be with Ralph and keep his spirits up, but that will be an expense that is not covered by insurance.
Lynn has been staying at a reasonably priced hotel nearby and walking to and from the hospital, but it's not safe to walk at night and even using Uber, the expenses are adding up quickly.
If you can donate, whatever amount you can will help defray the expenses for Lynn to stay with Ralph, and then whatever medical expenses for Ralph  that are not covered by insurance (transportation back to the mainland  for rehab and then back to their beloved home in Florida, home modifications required for wheelchair access,  and things we haven't even considered yet).
It will be a long road ahead and we appreciate any and all help that you can give, including prayers.

For more information, please contact either Lynn's sister Noranne at noranneo@yahoo.com or Ralph's sister Carol Lanigan LaMarr at carol.lamarr@hotmail.com.
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The benefit held by Ralph's musician friends was a great success! Over 300 people attended, we had about 35 items for the silent auction and the winner of the 50/50 raffle won $346. Carol Lanigan LaMarr read a speech that Ralph had dictated to her, telling how much he loved growing up in Hudson, MA with all of his Portuguese cousins, and how much he loved teaching at Assabet, and playing in the bands, and thanking everyone.
And this week, Ralph (figuratively) kicked that darn ventilator machine to the curb! He has done really well breathing on his own with just a small boost of oxygen, so it was time to say goodbye to it. The respiratory team also downsized the tube in his trach from an 8 to a 7, which is one step closer to getting rid of the trach completely – eventually. They have also been capping the trach, which makes it like he doesn’t have the trach at all – for longer periods of time. Yesterday, he did 5 hours capped, with no issues at all. He was even capped during Occupational Therapy.
They have been debriding his bedsore manually/surgically, and also using an enzymatic cream, and it finally reach a point this week where they could begin using the Negative Pressure Wound VAC on it, and we’re already seeing results. The wound VAC flushes a solution through the wound and then pulls it out, which helps bring healthy tissue to the surface.
Ralph’s spinal injury is a “central core injury” of the C3, and the way the body heals is typically with the feet and hands first, then the legs, and finally the upper arms. Ralph has followed that prediction exactly, though they can’t predict exactly how much functionality he will recover. It is different for everyone. However, he has been working hard with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy to increase his range of motion and strength in all areas. They had him in an Easy Stander last week, supporting his legs but forcing him to use his torso muscles to stand. They’ve used an electric muscle stimulator device on his hands and forearms, with success. They plan to bring him to the gym again and have him on the sitting bicycle machine. His movements are slow, but controlled, and progressing every day.
Again, thank you all for the cards and comments, and the donations and prayers and support. He is still not quite ready for visitors, but we feel like he will be within the next few weeks.
In the meantime, if you want to send a card or note, please sent to Lynn Lanigan at 476 Sudbury Street, Marlboro, MA 01752.
Thank you.
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Just a reminder that Ralph's wonderful musician friends are hosting a Fundraiser for him at the Elks Club in Hudson, MA on Sunday, November 4th, from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. We will have food (thanks TJ's of Ashland and Tony Frias!!), a silent auction with great items, a 50/50 raffle and lots of great music!! Hope to see you there!
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Ralph continues to show progress. He is up to 18 hours off the ventilator, and since his last swallow test showed no aspiration into the lungs, he is now getting real food (soft/ground) for lunch! He continues to receive the high protein liquid nutrition via the stomach port, but they want him to eat to keep strengthening his swallowing muscles. For his first meal, he had a few bites of ziti with meat sauce, lemonade. and sherbert.

The bedsore is healing, slowly.

Cards can be sent to Lynn Lanigan at 476 Sudbury Street, Marlborough, MA. 01752
We bring them in and read them to him and he enjoys your comments.

Thanks again for the donations, the kindness shown, and the support. We really do appreciate it.
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Today was grooming day, looking handsome!!
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$37,160 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 411 people in 3 months
Created August 15, 2018
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