420
420
17

Ralph Lanigan's spinal injury

$38,760 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 429 people in 6 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.
+ Read More
Progress!
Ralph continues to make progress. He is working hard with both Physical and Occupational therapies. He has strengthened his legs enough to get strapped into a stationary bicycle and can reach up to 40 mph with his pedaling. “Standing with support” was a goal last month; a reality now. Next goal is standing between parallel bars, using his arms to support his weight.
Ralph continues to work at strengthening his core muscles and they are ramping up his therapies. He works with Occupational Therapy to strengthen his arms and hands. He can now lift his left arm and hand and they continue to work with his fingers.
His right hand is also improving. He can now pinch his right thumb and pointer finger together. He also continues his therapy exercises while he is watching TV, or any downtime that he has.
We had a follow-up meeting with his Spaulding Wound Care Team and doctors from Mass General Hospital regarding his bedsore. The bedsore is his most challenging obstacle. The MGH surgeon feels it is healing – slowly, and we should “stay the course”.
There is a strong need to keep his protein intake at maximum levels to aid in healing the bedsore. This week, we brought in broiled scallops and broiled swordfish, which he loved! Before she left to go back to Florida, Noranne made him bison meatloaf, which he enjoyed.
The days are busy with therapies and doctors, but the nights are too long and too quiet. We have ordered a refurbished iPad to improve the quality of his nightlife. He will be able to watch his beloved sports (specifically tennis and the Celtics) and movies.
Once again, thank you all for your donations, support, love, words of encouragement, cards and prayers. It means so much to all of us!
+ Read More
12/30/18
When we arrived in Boston, Ralph had set an expectation with himself that he would be home in Florida by Christmas. That didn’t happen because of the bedsore, so his birthday and Christmas were a little sad. But we push forward.

The bedsore IS healing, but it heals from the inside out and that takes time. It could be another month or two before it’s healed enough to get back to full time therapy.

He continues to make progress with his therapies, and the speech therapist has even signed off that he can have any kind of food and 3 meals a day and that she doesn’t need to see him anymore! We often bring him food from home, and he definitely prefers that over the hospital food. Noranne made his mother’s Portuguese Soup recipe for his birthday, and Carol (Sister in Law) and Renee Marshall (niece) made him a Boston Cream Pie. In fact, we have a very special treat for him today. We are bringing him prime rib, mashed potatoes and carrots for lunch.

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are working him hard, driving the motorized wheelchair around the 3rd floor, standing in the EZ-Stander for 10-minute stretches, pedaling on the bike machine, and doing lots of stretching. They continue to use the E-Stims (electric stimulators) on his hands, as well as gloves with Velcro that keep his hand in a fist position for a few hours at a time to stretch the fingers. His core muscles are fairly strong and getting stronger. When they have him sitting on the bench in the gym and pull him forward, he can pull back and stabilize his torso from side to side.

As for pulmonary, the trach is capped for 24 hours now, so he’s breathing on his own, with a little help of oxygen from time to time. This week, they determined that the CO2 levels in his blood are too high, so they’re working on a remedy for that.

The visit with his grandsons was very emotional for everyone. It’s hard for Ralph, a natural entertainer, to not be in a position where he’s moving around and keeping everyone happy. And it’s hard for people to see him lying in bed without the full use of his arms and hands and legs.

He has started to allow a couple of visitors. But it’s very exhausting for him, so please be patient.

Lynn spends every day with Ralph and after 4 ½ months, she finally took a day off and went for a drive down to the Cape with Kyle and his family. Noranne spent the day with Ralph (helping him with his lunch, getting ice and lemonade, changing the TV channel, etc.), but he missed Lynn.

Lynn and Ralph are so very appreciative of all of your continued support. They loved the Christmas cards, Get Well cards, donations to the account and the prayers. We all acknowledge every day how lucky we are to have such caring friends and family.
+ Read More
Today, Kyle and Carolyn brought Cameron, Colin, and Cole to see their Papa. It was an emotional visit, but a happy one for all.

Lynn and Ralph want to thank everyone for the cards, and especially those who have sent multiple cards. We read each card to him and show him them, and he really enjoys them.

We also want to thank those who have contributed to the Go Fund Me account. Your generosity has really touched us and we are very grateful.
+ Read More
11/30/2018

Lynn and I visit Ralph every day, and sometimes when you’re watching so closely, you miss the big picture.
This week, I got a fresh perspective on Ralph’s continuing progress in recovery. I recently had the flu and was unable to visit him for 2 weeks, and when I went with Lynn this week, there were so many wonderful things to observe!

His voice is stronger. When they downsize the tube in his tracheostomy, there’s naturally “leakage” of air around the tube in his throat, which causes his voice to be weaker. Whether the gaps have closed up, and/or he’s strengthened his voice muscles, the result is that his voice is a bit stronger now. They are encouraging him to sing, to further strengthen those vocal chords.

His arms and legs are building up again with muscle. Being bedridden for almost 4 months caused his muscles to shrink and almost atrophy. With increased physical and occupational therapy as the bedsore heals, the muscles are building back up again. When they use the Electric muscle stimulators on him, we can see the muscles moving in his arms, which means the signal is getting from the brain to the arms, even if he’s not consciously driving it. His legs continue to be his strongest appendages, and they believe that when he leaves Spaulding, he will walk out!

His cough is stronger and he’s better able to clear his lungs, and therefore, he doesn’t need suctioning much at all. He easily manages having the tracheostomy capped for 7 hours at a time, including during occupational therapy, and most often, without any additional oxygen.

His appetite has increased, and he’s been cleared for more meals and more foods as his swallowing muscles have strengthened. Today, he ate 1.5 stuffed shells for lunch, and he put me on the hunt for popsicles – the 2-stick ones in lime, cherry, or root beer – no easy challenge.

His range of motion with his arms and hands is greater, and he’s now working on his hand grasp. Yesterday, with help from Krista, his occupational therapist, he was able to bring his left hand up to his face and hold a plastic cup of ice water and drink from it through the straw! When Krista finishes his OT session, she positions his arms at a slight bend, and he loves to tease her by moving them.

The bedsore is getting better (very slowly, but healing). It could be another month or two before it’s healed. They are still using the wound VAC on it, and based on his progress, this week they switched out his Clinitron fluidized air water bed for a new Immerse bed mattress. They also switched his wheelchair model to one that provides more torso support, but he still can only withstand 1 to 1.5 hours in the wheelchair.

Overall, he just looks more like himself to me.

His love of music comes through in unexpected ways. Today he was thinking of the Gene Chandler song “Duke of Earl”, so Carol had to pull it up on her iPhone and play it for him. He gave his nurses, Jamie and Damon, a homework assignment of listening to Chet Atkins play guitar. They’re young kids, in their twenties and had never heard of Chet Atkins before.

Ralph misses his grandsons terribly (even though we show him pictures and videos, it’s not the same as seeing them and touching them) and he has finally agreed to having them come in to visit him this weekend. Kyle and Carolyn will be bringing Cameron (9), Colin (8) and Cole (2) in on Sunday. Although he can’t really hug them as robustly as he would like, they can hold his hands and see that Papa is okay and getting better.

Hopefully, this will lead to him approving more visitors in the near future.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$38,760 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 429 people in 6 months
Created August 15, 2018
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
RV
$100
RONALD VALCOURT
17 days ago
$50
Anonymous
1 month ago
JR
$100
Joseph Rocheleau
1 month ago
CB
$100
Carol Bisson
1 month ago
MP
$100
Marianne Patch
1 month ago
PC
$100
Patricia Cline
1 month ago
RT
$100
Richard Tataronis
2 months ago
$100
Linda LeSage
2 months ago
$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
CF
$100
Christine Fortin
2 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.