Ralph Lanigan's spinal injury

$39,135 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 435 people in 12 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 address at Spaulding Rehab Boston is 300 1st Ave, Boston, MA 02129. Attn: Ralph Lanigan, Rm 610
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Today was a poignant anniversary. It was exactly one year ago today that Ralph had his accident in Hawaii, and it’s been a difficult journey. We’ve worked through the shock, grief and turmoil of the past year and are now emerging into a more positive outlook. We are stronger in many ways, always grateful, and looking ahead to continued recovery for him, and increased independence and “normalcy”.
Tangible Progress! Because the bedsore has finally healed enough that it shouldn’t be the primary driver of his care, Ralph was moved back to Spaulding Rehab in Boston (Charlestown) in mid-July!! Yay!! One step closer to going home!
The average stay in rehab is 8-10 weeks, so we’re hoping that he’ll get at least 6 weeks of that. And he is now getting his full 3 hours (minimum) of physical therapy and occupational therapy per day.
Also, the feeding tube was removed, and we’re hoping that the trach will be next!
When he was transferred to Boston from Cambridge, they had him on the ventilator at night, but he’s now progressed (back) to the Bi-Pap at night. This augments his breathing to get the CO2 fully out of his blood. We’re hoping that as the chest muscles strengthen, his breathing will also strengthen enough that he doesn’t even need the Bi-Pap.
Ralph continues to work hard every day with his therapies. Progress is painfully slow, but we are definitely seeing results. They’ve been using the E-stim on his core, as well as the bedsore, his thighs (front and back), calves and shins.
His appetite has also improved. He’s loving the food at Spaulding Boston and is back to his high school days of “doubles” for lunch, and he also has custard and ice cream and milk shakes. He has a million dollar view of Boston Harbor and his room overlooks Menino Park and he loves watching the boats in the nearby marina.
Noranne returned last night after being in Florida for the past 6 months and was impressed with his progress when she saw him today. She noticed increased range of motion in both of his arms and hands, a stronger voice, and “meatier” limbs.
He still has a long way to go, but we think we’re coming to the end of the inpatient hospitalization and rehab. We’re now starting to have the conversations with the staff about what it will be like when he’s home, and how to transport him there.
Thank you once again for all of your support! We definitely feel the love, and we appreciate it so much. The cards, texts, and phone calls have been such an inspiration to us all! We really do appreciate your help in getting us through this.
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since Ralph’s accident (August 9th).

Ralph continues to work hard at his therapies. They’ve ordered his custom motorized wheelchair, which will be delivered to their home in Florida in about 2 months. Ralph’s been getting practice driving one, and Andrew even set up an obstacle course down in the parking lot, which Ralph maneuvered pretty well. They’ve mounted a tennis ball on the joystick on his existing wheelchair, which makes it a bit easier for him to control.

The therapists are working with Ralph on holding a cup with a straw and drinking and also using a spoon to eat. They told him his muscles are all working. Now they just have to rebuild strength and dexterity, which takes time.

He had a couple of weeks of fighting infections but is back on track now. He had a minor surgical procedure at Mass General, which seemed to be the latest trigger. This isn't unusual for someone in the hospital this long.

The bedsore is healing and looking much healthier, to the point where the wound surgeon at Mass General said it didn’t need the surgical closure and should no longer be the primary driver of his care! It still may prevent him from flying commercial air back to Florida, but time will tell. We’re hoping for continued healing and closure.

He is awaiting word for a transfer to Spaulding Charlestown where the primary focus will be therapy for his limbs.

He and Lynn look forward to returning to their home in Florida in the next month or two.

We appreciate the cards, meals and ongoing inspirational quotes. Your continued and amazing support has given us strength.

Thank you!
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Just a quick update to say that Ralph continues to work hard and make progress. His legs are strong, but his arms and hands have a ways to go. They have started him back on arthritis medication and muscle relaxers, which are both helping with his therapies. He and Lynn have been outside for brief times, enjoying the gorgeous weather lately! Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!
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$39,135 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 435 people in 12 months
Created August 15, 2018
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