Man Who Lost Both Arms In Electrical Accident Recovering
Lisa O’Neil said she and her family were astonished and delighted to see him and gave him big hugs. O’Neil’s children are regular visitors at Young’s home.
“He treats my kids just like his kids,” said O’Neil, who is organizing a Jan. 22 fundraiser for Young. “They’re a great family, a great couple, and we really love them.”
Jim and his wife, Karen, have two young children, Griffin, eight, and Hilary, five.
Right after his return from the hospital, Young was also seen walking with his dog, Callie, in the mornings, the return of an early morning ritual for man and dog, said O’Neil.
“Callie did not see Jim for eight weeks while he was in the hospital,” said O’Neil. “Karen would put Jim on the speaker phone when he called from the hospital so Callie could hear his voice. She would get so excited; Callie missed her dad, too. When he came home just before Thanksgiving, Callie wouldn’t leave his side. The family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, a lot to be thankful for.”
Driven to recover
With fierce determination, the athletic Young, who coaches and officiates youth sports, concentrated on building up strength in his legs and learning to balance without arms. He started to walk the hallways and stairs in the hospital right away.
“I was in good shape before the accident, and my legs got strong when I was at Spaulding Rehab,” said Jim, who spent five weeks in Massachusetts General Hospital and three weeks at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. “They were pretty amazed at my balance. They were all very good to me. I have been doing 60 minutes a day on the treadmill at home. Before it got real cold, I went for one-and-a-half mile walks every day. Eventually, I’ll go back to the gym.”
Jim goes for physical therapy at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in Bradford three times a week. He is also acclimating himself to a complex prosthetic right arm with a hand he can open and close.
“I work with [the prosthetic arm] every day,” he said. “You get a little bit better every day.”
Jim has coached youth league sports and officiates college and high school basketball games all over New England.
“I really miss that,” said Jim,
Former Merrimac resident Carol Parker said Jim coaches her eight-year-old son Owen’s baseball team.
“He’s a great coach,” said Parker. “He does it for the love of the kids and the love of the game. He’s very gentle. Owen loves having him as a coach.”
As Jim inspires others, he said his wife, Karen, inspires him.
“My wife has been the one who has to do a lot more work, shoveling snow, cleaning, making meals and helping me out,” said Jim. “All the things she has to do — she’s a big inspiration to me.”
Karen said the family’s biggest need is the continued support of family, friends and neighbors.
“I don’t think I could get through what we are going through without their support,” said Karen.
Story via WickedLocal.com