An Update From Tom!
Sorry for the long delay.
I stood up for the first time Dec 22nd. I walked that same day using parallel bars. I rapidly moved from walker to crutches to a cane over the next month.
Over the holidays I had the chance to meet President Bush, Secretary Rice, and Secretary Gates.
I am now at the VA Spinal Cord Injury Rehab Center in Tampa FL. I am participating in an 8 week intensive rehab program to begin to address my remaining medical limitations. Walter Reed was nice for recovery and now that I am in rehabilitation phase I am here at the poly-trauma center here to finish off until I return to NYC and Dynamic Logic in late Spring/early Summer.
I am now walking with a cane and my goal is to give up my wheelchair altogether by this Friday. It has been a long road and the road continues but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I am technically an inpatient, so far they are being pretty good about letting me leave the hospital overnight and return in the morning for my therapy. But, Hiwot has headed home to Atlanta to finally go back to work at Delta so when they find that out they will not be as apt to let me out alone. Basically, I am trying to avail myself of all the medical assets and rehab facilities without having to stay in my room night after night. After 6 months of hospitalization, I have had enough. Please send any mail to:
MAJ Thomas J Deierlein
James A Haley VA Hospital - Spinal Cord D
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Tampa FL 33612
My cell is 917-287-5961
It is kind of strange to be proud of the fact that I can now bathe, feed, and clothes myself - but I am!! After months of relying on others to do it - it feels GOOD. Slowly but surely I am getting my physical strength, endurance, and flexibility back. More slowly than surely but I make progress each day.
Short note. More in a month... talk to you soon.
This is one of our all-time favorite photos of Tom, taken last year while he was stationed in Iraq.