Friday, September 19, 2014

Homan Lumber worker making strides in recovery after Friday accident

Tommy Woods still faces long road to recovery

Posted on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 17, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.

ELKHART — Homan Lumber employee Tommy Woods is conscious and responsive following his first round of surgeries, but his sister says he still has a significant battle ahead.

Woods, a 49-year-old saw operator from Elkhart, was seriously injured Friday morning when the piece of wood flew off the machine he was working on and hit him right below his nose and lodged into his face.

Patricia Woods, Tommy Woods’ sister, said that the safety guards on Woods’ machine came loose, allowing the wood to shoot out.

Woods sustained various injuries, including a broken right cheekbone, jaw and nose, as well as two injured vertebrae, damaged arteries and multiple other breakages around his face.

Patricia Woods noted the piece of wood luckily missed his brain and his spinal cord.

Woods has undergone several surgeries already at IU Health Indianapolis Methodist Hospital, his sister said, but will have to undergo several more.

She explained that the surgeons can only do so much work at a time, meaning Tommy Woods must wait for several other procedures before he fully begins his recovery.

Some of the procedures Tommy Woods has already undergone or must undergo in the future include a tracheotomy and reconstructive surgery around his nose. He’s already had one reconstructive surgery, but will have to have at least one more on Wednesday.

He also needed a feeding tube installed in order to help him eat and drink.

With as grim as his situation appeared initially, Patricia Woods says her brother has already made some positive strides.

“For what he’s been through, he is coming right along,” she said.

Patricia Woods explained that Tommy Woods is alert and, though he isn’t able to speak, he knows who he is and can respond to questions by nodding.

Still, it is going to be a long recovery for the man Patricia Woods described as a hard worker who “would never miss a day.”

“It’s going to be a long, drawn-out process,” Patricia Woods said in a phone interview from Indianapolis, adding that Tommy Woods will likely be hospitalized for several months.

She has remained at the hospital with Tommy’s other siblings, hoping to be able to stay as long as financially possible.

“I can’t leave him,” she said. “He’s going to be here for a while.”

 An honor guard carries the casket of Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson  from his funeral service, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Scranton, Pa. Dickson was killed on Friday night in an ambush shooting at the state police barracks in Blooming Grove Township. Authorities are looking for 31-year-old Eric Frein, of Canadensis, who has been charged with killing one trooper and wounding another outside the barracks. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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 FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2012 file photo, family members hold up photos of Michele MacNeill facing Martin MacNeill, not shown, as he enters the courtroom in Provo, Utah. The Utah doctor convicted of killing his wife was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison in a separate sexual abuse case. He is facing up to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18, 2014. MacNeill was found guilty of giving his wife Michelle drugs prescribed after cosmetic surgery and leaving her to drown in the bathtub of their home in 2007 so he could begin a new life with his mistress. The long-awaiting sentencing comes after a Provo judge denied a request for a new trial.  (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Scott G Winterton, Pool, File)

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