November 15th, 2014 began a journey that my loving husband, Tom Reiley in his wildest dreams could have never imagined. It seemed, one moment Tom was living his life normally and the next minute he could not move. Tom had developed near full-body paralysis because of a severe spinal cord infection, meningitis, with a brain abscess. With God, a top-notch brain surgeon and the staff at a premiere neurological hospital on his side, Tom beat the odds and survived. The effects of the spine infection and surgery though, have left him with immobilizing weakness on the right side of his body and extreme weakness on the left side.
Tom’s doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery. We are aware that this is a long journey and Tom is working hard every day through inpatient therapy. He remains upbeat, optimistic and eagerly anticipates returning to an active life through the support of family, friends, community and church fellowship.
December 3, 2020
Dec. 3, 2020. We have now spent nearly 18 mo in our little house (downsized) in a fabulous Retirement Village in the Pine Barrens of NJ. All one floor and accessible for Tom in his Power Wheelchair. Tom is back to outpatient therapy for Strengthening. We have found that this will be needed periodically as time goes by.
Tom’s nerve pain has been increasingly difficult to manage & we have added a couple more Dr’s to his team. We are anticipating some good results with a new procedure in Jan 2021.
Tom continues to be able to walk short distances in our home with close Supervision; and keeps very busy with some small projects. We are getting a work bench set up in our garage for him & Tom has already been using the table-top drill press.
Covid has given us the blessing of being able to do Tele-medicine which has reduced some of our driving around. And we are learning – like many others- to do video chats.
We want to send our Love and wishing you all good health and Christmas Blessings.
October 11, 2018
Oct 11, 2018. As of Nov 15 this yr will be 4 yrs since Tom’s illness began. I can hardly believe it’s been that long already!
This past year was a real challenge starting with a broken right leg in January ( at least it wasn’t his “good” leg). Ugh! A bad fracture ( not a fall, but a freak accident while sitting in his powerchair). A bad kidney stone with Sepsis in March & surgery slowed healing of his fracture.
All is well. As of August Tom was permitted to bear weight again on the fractured leg and Oct 8 we transitioned to outpatient therapy. Today 10/11; Tom was able to stand in a standing frame for 10 minutes! A big step in progress.
Tom has been very busy in his in-home work room; where he has alot of his hand tools & small power machines to do small projects. Tom has made many adaptive devices to help make everyday activities easier and keep his creative mind sharp. This activity has helped Tom make good progress in his right hand motor skills and strength.
The powerchair is aging & has needed repairs. We anticipate a new chair around the 5 yr mark ( we’ve been told this is average for powerchairs). Our 2008 wheelchair van is in good shape & we expect a few more good yrs.
Tom is, as ever, upbeat and very interactive with friends and family. I-phones are a blessing for the disabled!
Thank you all again for your support, prayers, and love.
Photo Galleries (3)
June 9, 2015
Wishing this wonderful family lots of love, well wishes, and prayers in this time of need!! The Reiley family have been wonderful neighbors and family friends since my family has moved in almost twenty years ago. Many prayers and thoughts go out to you Tom and Diane and family <3
Patrick Crowthers and Kelly Crumley
May 28, 2015
Continued prayers and loving thoughts to you and Diane. Can't wait for our first return to Passerelli's for pizza!!
Bob and Elaine Elder
April 22, 2015
Dear Tom and Diane, My thoughts and prayers are with both of you and wish Tom a complete and speedy recovery.
April 13, 2015
I was so blessed to meet this amazing man. I wish I could do more! Sending healing vibes to Tom and family!
Jennifer "Curving" Clapp