On July 29, 2023, 20-year old Patrick Hoey was enjoying Keuka Lake in upstate New York when his life was changed forever. Patrick fractured his C5 vertebrae after diving into the lake. He’s been left with severe damage to his spinal cord.
Sinking face first in the water, paralyzed, the actions of his friends saved his life. Patrick was immediately transported to Strong Memorial in Rochester, NY for immediate and intensive emergency surgery. His long-term prognosis is still unclear at this time. A week later he was transferred to Magee Rehabilitation in Philadelphia. Uncertain about Patrick’s long-term prognosis, the family remains hopeful he will regain feeling and movement in his upper and lower body, but he has a very long road ahead of him.
November 10, 2023
What a wonderful whirlwind of a month it has been! On October 5th, we happily welcomed Patrick home from Magee hospital! He was able come home in our van, use the new ramps to enter our home, use his newly remodeled space and wheelchair accessible bathroom and enjoy eating meals together (the meals that many of you have provided for the past 3 months). We wanted to post a note to recognize how you all helped to make this possible and to thank you for all the wonderful things you have been doing for Patrick. The football game, cornhole tournament (a fantastic “welcome home”) and Handle’s Ice Cream event were all a huge success! Thank you to all of the selfless organizers and enthusiastic participants. We are continually amazed by the generous gifts to the Help Hope Live Mid-Atlantic Catastrophic injury fund-specifically for Patrick’s benefit. Because of your generosity we were recently able to purchase our wheelchair converted van from Mobility Works. This van has been modified to accommodate the needs of power wheelchair users like Patrick and includes changing the frame/body, adding a power ramp and interior modifications to make it safe to travel. Upon coming home, Patrick began his therapy at the Magee Riverfront day-rehab program. This amazing program is daily from 10-3:30, which means daily round trips in our van to south Philly. With Diane taking a leave from her job at Beaumont Elementary, she is able to drive him and stay with him each day to learn everything she can from his therapists. At Magee Riverfront he continues to make progress on strengthening his upper body and learning how to adapt and gain independence. He uses an electric stimulation bike (and other stimulation equipment) to send signals through his spinal cord to hopefully improve the connection past his injury. He continues to be optimistic; because, he knows like Winston Churchill said “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. His determination hasn’t wavered and we are so proud of his daily efforts. We have also been able to use the van to get out and about, including MD appointments, visits to Valley Forge Park and even a dinner out at Nifty Fifties in Newtown Square. Having reliable, wheelchair safe transportation is such a blessing and we are so grateful that you all have made it happen for us!
We feel so loved and supported by our wonderful community, you have all been so kind and very generous to us. It is honestly overwhelming and we cannot begin to truly express our appreciation, but please know how deeply in our hearts we feel it.
Sorry for the delay in this update but as you can tell Patrick is working very hard and keeping very busy and we are right there with him!
With our love and gratitude,
September 25, 2023
It has been a while since we had a chance to update you on Patrick’s progress and we are glad to share some recent good news. He continues his intensive rehab (PT, OT, Art, Recreational) therapy program at Magee trying to maximize his time there. In addition to therapy, has been attending a number of educational sessions to learn more about spinal cord injury and how to manage. As you can imagine, he is pretty exhausted by the time the evening rolls around. Now that he has been at Magee for a while he has gotten to know most of the staff and some of the patients and is very socially engaged. We have been able to get there every day and are learning as much as we can about his needs and care so we are prepared when he comes home.
A couple of big events happened over the past week that we wanted to share. Firstly, Patrick was able to permanently take off his hard plastic cervical collar, which he has had to wear continuously since his injury about 8 weeks ago. This has been a tremendous relief of his neck itching (scratchy beard), improved his quality of sleep and overall comfort, not to mention the fact he can actually look around the room better. Over the past couple weeks he has become adept at operating his power wheelchair, so much in fact that he was able to go on his “road trip” to Reading terminal market with his Occupational Therapist, Rex therapist and Diane. This is a very important milestone as patients prepare to engage with the world outside of Magee with their new means of mobility. In classic fashion, Patrick sought out 2 dozen amazing donuts which he shared with the staff allowing them to choose a favorite.
Possibly the most amazing accomplishment was Patrick’s getting into an upright position today at the gym using electrical stimulation of his muscles and the support of the therapy team! He was even able to give Diane a hug while he was up. This is so remarkable because Patrick does not yet have any movement/muscle control below his chest. This offers hope he may regain enough function to stand in the future with support, and the important goal of being vertical for a number of physiologic reasons.
As some of you may know, spinal cord injuries (and recovery) are unpredictable and it will be a long time before we know what his ultimate level of recovery will be. One thing we are certain of is Patrick’s steadfast determination, his contagious optimism and hope for the future. He is so appreciative of the of the love and kindness he has been shown through cards, texts, calls and visits (including good food and treats) and he wants us to share how grateful he is (as are we as a family).
It has been wonderful to see some of you at the recent Hope4Hoey events.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for all the love and support we feel.
Patrick and the Hoeys.
Photo Galleries (6)
November 28, 2023
Thank you to our Amazing Community for continuing to rally and show support for the Hoey Family!
November 28, 2023
Wishing Patrick and the whole Holy family all the best!
Marie Pierre Crowe
November 27, 2023
Stay strong! From the Alpha Phis of the Greater Philadelphia Alumni Group