Wreck victims still hospitalized

Published 1:48 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Victims in an Oct. 8 vehicle crash are recovering at healthcare facilities from central Alabama to Florida.

Harold “Big Tommy” Kennedy is working on recovery at a Gainesville, Fla., hospital where he was transferred for specialized surgery following the crash.

Tomeka Kennedy, said her father-in-law received surgery as treatment for three breaks in his neck.

“He had some severe injuries,” Tomeka said. “His neck was broken in three places and his spinal chord was completely severed. The surgery had to be done in Gainesville to stabilize his condition.”

Tomeka said Kennedy was moved to the Gainesville facility on Oct. 13 where he will stay for several weeks.

“They are taking him off the ventilator slowly and taking him off of some of the medications,” Tomeka said. “He will stay there for a while and be sent back to Baptist hospital once he is stable. That could take from three to six weeks.”

Kennedy’s injuries included several broken ribs, seven cracked vertebras and a crushed heel. He has mobility of his arms but cannot open his hands, Tomeka said.

Kennedy will eventually be transferred to a rehabilitation center for further treatment, she said.

Other victims in the accident are also being treated at rehabilitation centers for injuries sustained in the crash.

Myah Kathleen Gillis has been transferred from U.S.A. Medical Center to Westgate Village in Brewton in preparation for rehabilitation, according to family members.

Jay Armstrong, Gillis’ son, was released from Sacred Heart Hospital and transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center where he is being treated in the rehabilitation department of the healthcare facility.

Homer Aaron “Rock” Herbert, the driver of the second vehicle involved in the crash, was treated at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., for his injuries. He has been released and is recovering at home,

Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate the incident to determine the cause of the crash. No information on charges filed against drivers in the incident have been made available; however, charges may be pending, officials said.