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mickeymousemom
03-30-2006, 11:58 AM
Looks like Randal McCloy will be heading to WDW in a few months....what better place to go in his situation....my prayers are with him and his family!


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr., looking thin and stiff but walking on his own, offered his gratitude Thursday as he was released from a hospital after almost three months.

"I'd just like to thank everybody for their thoughts and prayers," McCloy said softly, wearing a baseball cap and a racing-team jacket at a morning news conference. He paused, then added with a weak smile, "I believe that's it."

Doctors say they can't explain why McCloy, who was trapped underground for more than 40 hours after the Jan. 2 mine explosion, survived the carbon monoxide exposure while all 12 other miners with him died. Medical crews at the mine have said McCloy, too, was close to death when he was rescued.

"It's basically almost like he was resurrected," Dr. Russell Biundo, medical director at HealthSouth Mountainview Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, said Thursday.

Gov. Joe Manchin was also talking about miracles as he handed McCloy a green street sign reading: "Miracle Road," for the renamed rural road leading to the family's home in Simpson.

"Randy is unbelievable how he has come through this ordeal," Manchin said. "Today, I'm happy to say that the time has finally come for Randy to return home."

McCloy left the hospital with his wife, Anna, after the brief statements and headed home, where they were greeted by more than a dozen relatives cheering and blowing car horns.

As he sat on the front porch, Randal McCloy said he would "probably just hang around, hold kids and stuff" on his first day home.

In an interview with The Associated Press about his ordeal, McCloy said Wednesday he had "no explanation of how I escaped it and survived."

Some people have speculated it was because of the 26-year-old's youth, or because he was deeper in the mine, farther from the bad air. But McCloy said he wasn't that far from his colleagues.

He also doesn't believe a crushed lung limited the carbon monoxide he inhaled. If he'd been in pain, he figures, he'd have inhaled even more.

What McCloy does know is that he's strong and healthy now because of 24-hour support from his wife and his brother-in-law, Rick McGee, who rarely left his side over the past three months.

"What I believe is that the people who are there for you tend to create a world where you can get better," McCloy said. "It's love, really."

McCloy's memories of the 41 hours underground are "not much really," just fragmented images he'd rather forget. When he thinks of his fallen friends, he pictures them elsewhere.

"I try to leave out all the gory details and stuff like that because I don't like to look at them in that light and that way," he said. "I just like to picture them saved and in heaven, stuff like that.

"That's really the best way you can remember somebody."

McCloy was pulled from the coal mine Jan. 4 with kidney, lung, liver and heart damage. He was in a coma for weeks with severe brain injuries and lost 35 pounds, leaving him at about 135.

His throat still bears a deep purple mark from a long-since removed feeding tube, but his voice is clear and soft.

He smiles often and seems frustrated only by his limitations, mainly a right arm that remains weak.

"My hands, my grip, is not as good as I want it to be, but I'm going to try to exercise and stuff like that," he said.

His wife is providing an incentive. While he was in therapy, she ordered a present for his birthday April 14: a red 2006 Ford Mustang to replace the family's Taurus.

"I wanted to give him something to work for," she said, "to make him really want to push himself."

In the pool at HealthSouth Mountainview Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, he has been. He tossed a beach ball with a therapist to work on agility and reflexes. At home, he will continue to use weights to help his therapy, and he will return to HealthSouth three days a week, four hours a day, for a few more months.

Someday, he'll start to think about work again. He's considering a vocational school, maybe electronics. He won't be going back underground.

"No, I done learned my lesson," he said. "The hard way."

In a few months, the McCloys are planning a family trip to Disney World, but for now they're looking forward to peace.

"It'll be a vacation just getting home," said Anna McCloy, who said she would fire up the oven for the first time in three months to make a big pan of lasagna.

Randal will start working through the thousands of cards and letters he has received, enough to fill a spare bedroom at a relative's house. He also hopes to meet with the families of all the fallen miners in the coming weeks and months.

"It's a delicate situation and it should be handled delicately. It's not something you definitely want to dive right in," he said. "I am going to choose to be careful about what I say and how I word things for the families' sake. I just feel I should show them great respect."

mickeys friend
03-30-2006, 01:29 PM
I'am glad that they will get a chance to go to WDW.My husband was a coal miner for 30 years and is now disabled because of injurys (nothing as bad as his) from working in the coal mines.He started like many others at age 18 and was totally disabled by the time he was 50.Going to WDW is like going somewhere and forgetting all our troubles and worries.We go,but now my husband can't ride the rides like before and spends most of his time in our room,thats why we get something on the monorail with a bal. for him to sit and enjoy his time,(if we can get any discounts to be able to stay at a monorail resort).I hope the best for him and his family,they deserve it.

CleveRocks
03-30-2006, 02:17 PM
Mr. McCloy is at once very unlucky and very lucky, unlucky to have been in that situation and so badly injured, but lucky in that he survived. He still has MUCH hard work ahead of him.

I saw most of the feature interview on The Today Show this morning, and it's unfortunate that the news media does not explain the devastating COGNITIVE effects of such a severe brain injury.

Put most simply, cognition is our ability to think. Thinking is required in every voluntary behavior, from picking up a glass to speaking to knowing what to say in a given situation (and knowing what NOT to say). Cognition also involves many "invisible" mental tasks such as memory, attention and concentration, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, judgment, safety awareness, prioritizing, sequencing, planning, organizing, plus the entire range of social and psychosocial skills. These sorts of skills and tasks are not easily seen by a TV camera, and are not easily explained in a 3-minute news clip.

Mr. McCloy likely has years of rehabilitation in front of him, and in almost all cases similiar to his (keep in mind I know nothing about the clinical details of his case) there is not 100% recovery. The aim of therapies is to regain as much pre-injury function as possible. He will be well-served by strong and loving family and friends who support him, understand his brain-related difficulties, and push him to continue to move forward.

God Bless Mr. McCloy and his family and friends, to give them all the strength for the long road ahead, which will likely be filled with times of jubilation as well as frustration.

TommyTutone
03-30-2006, 02:38 PM
I hope he doesn't ride Snow White.

mickeymousemom
03-30-2006, 03:05 PM
Cleverocks,
Nice post. I have no doubt he has much work ahead of him. It sounds as though he is surrounded by many loving and supportive family members and friends.

Martha7
03-30-2006, 03:14 PM
Cleverocks~ That was an interesting and informative post. I know that I've read that many people who awaken from comas are never quite the same, and that it's a big readjustment for themselves and their families. I'm surprised that he was able to express himself as well as he did. After I saw the appearance today, the first thing that popped into my head was that they deserved an all-expenses paid trip to Disneyworld. I doubt that it'll be very long before the rights to his life, (for books and a film) are secured. I hope he sells for top dollar! I also liked that his wife remembered the families of the other miners in her speech. :goodvibes

Gooofy-Blade
03-30-2006, 05:26 PM
I hope he doesn't ride Snow White.


poor attempt at humor.

mjmcca
03-30-2006, 05:55 PM
Mr. McCloy is at once very unlucky and very lucky, unlucky to have been in that situation and so badly injured, but lucky in that he survived. He still has MUCH hard work ahead of him.

I saw most of the feature interview on The Today Show this morning, and it's unfortunate that the news media does not explain the devastating COGNITIVE effects of such a severe brain injury.

Put most simply, cognition is our ability to think. Thinking is required in every voluntary behavior, from picking up a glass to speaking to knowing what to say in a given situation (and knowing what NOT to say). Cognition also involves many "invisible" mental tasks such as memory, attention and concentration, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, judgment, safety awareness, prioritizing, sequencing, planning, organizing, plus the entire range of social and psychosocial skills. These sorts of skills and tasks are not easily seen by a TV camera, and are not easily explained in a 3-minute news clip.

Mr. McCloy likely has years of rehabilitation in front of him, and in almost all cases similiar to his (keep in mind I know nothing about the clinical details of his case) there is not 100% recovery. The aim of therapies is to regain as much pre-injury function as possible. He will be well-served by strong and loving family and friends who support him, understand his brain-related difficulties, and push him to continue to move forward.

God Bless Mr. McCloy and his family and friends, to give them all the strength for the long road ahead, which will likely be filled with times of jubilation as well as frustration.
I am surprised that he has made as much progress as he has. It is amazing that he is not vented and able to walk and talk on his own. THe continued rehab will be long and hard but I am just amazed that he was able to recover this much this quickly.

anny_c_99
03-30-2006, 06:52 PM
God Bless Mr. McCloy and his family. They are sure to have some trying times ahead of them. But with God's help they can make it thru.

My father also worked in the WV coal mines, and was injured in 1976. (Broken back, lost his leg from the knee down, and is paralyzed from the waist down...but has survived and living today.

I hope him and his family will have a wonderful time in WDW.. Nancy

Martha7
03-30-2006, 07:04 PM
Wow, Nancy, your Dad must be one tough guy to have survived his injuries! It must take a special kind of person to do that kind of work! :worship: