Exactly two months ago Wednesday, a Lewisberry man broke his neck in a boogie boarding accident. Doctors were not sure if he would survive, but Tuesday he walked out of the hospital.
Friends, family, doctors and co-workers were there to support Larry Sanderson as he walked out of the Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital.
Two months ago, no one knew that would be possible.
"Then I went for the second wave it broke on me and I went down head first and I hit the bottom of the ocean and I broke my neck in six places," said Sanderson.
It happened back on September 20 while Sanderson was boogie boarding in Ocean City, Maryland.
"I actually died while I was in the water," Sanderson said. "I actually felt myself leaving my body."
"They said he has no pulse, no respirations. He had so much blood. He had cut the top of his head so badly," wife Kathy said. "They started CPR and they were getting ready to use the AED, but they said, 'no he has a pulse.' And we were so happy. He was so purple and blue."
After surgery and 17 days in intensive care, Sanderson came to the Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital the day before his birthday.
"They always told me to strive to get as far as I possibly could. You can ask my therapist, I tried to push them a little bit," Sanderson said.
Although Sanderson only walked a little bit, it is farther than anyone could have hoped for.
"They tell me most people in my situation don't get this far for a year or two, if they get that far," Sanderson said.
"Well, I've got my Thanksgiving and Christmas miracle already. That's all I want. I don't want anything else," Kathy Sanderson said.
But the Sandersons did get something else. Sanderson's co-workers at Inclinator built a ramp at his house free of charge.
"It's a very family-oriented company and he's part of the family," president and CEO Steven Progin said. "When there's a family member in need, Larry's one of the first people to step up and help out in other situations, so we certainly wanted to reciprocate that for him."
"I do want to thank everybody here and I want to thank God because He was all a big part of this. Without my faith and without my wife's faith and everybody behind me, this wouldn't have happened. I appreciate everybody," Sanderson said. "I just can't thank them enough. I still want my job back."
Progin said Sanderson will definitely have a job when he is well enough to go back to work.
Doctors said Sanderson's future prognosis is very bright and they do not believe his injuries will hold him back in life.
A fund has been set up to help with Sanderson's medical expenses. Donations can be made to the Larry Sanderson Recovery Fund, c/o Members 1st Federal Credit Union, 5000 Louise Drive, PO Box 40, Mechanicsburg, PA, 17055.
Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:03:38 GMT
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