Archive for Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Family coping with changes after December car accident

January 28, 2004

A Tonganoxie 3-year-year-old who's been paralyzed from the chest down since a motor vehicle accident on Dec. 12 now is home.

Evan Lynch was dismissed about 10 days ago from Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo., where he was taken after the car he was riding in was hit head-on on Kansas Highway 16, about four miles west of Tonganoxie.

Sheriff's officers said they do not know why a vehicle driven by James R. Collins, 48, McLouth, crossed the center line of the highway, near 239th Street. Collins was treated for his injuries at an area hospital.

Evan's brother, Ryan, 9, and his mother, Cynthia, also were injured in the accident. After hospital stays, they, too, are recovering at home. Ryan is back in school, although his activity level is restricted. And Cynthia Lynch will use a wheelchair for two to three more weeks, according to her husband, Dan.

Currently, the Lynch family is trying to adjust to the dramatic changes that have occurred in their lives since the accident. And they're researching what hospital to take Evan to for further evaluation. Dan Lynch said physicians at Children's Mercy believe Evan's paralysis is complete.

"They're saying he's not going to walk again," Lynch said.

But the family still has hope that Evan will regain feeling below his chest and the use of his legs.

"Whatever it takes. If somebody said they could help him, we're there," Lynch said.

But he said the family also must be cautious.

"We don't want to run him just to be running him (to hospitals)," Lynch said.

For now, Evan, who turned 3 in November, uses a small wheel chair.

"He's very good on it already," his father said. "He gets himself around, even in tight spots. He's doing remarkably well. ... He's a normal child from his chest up. He's a normal 3-year-old, as far as his temperament and everything else -- with a little added frustration over the fact that he can't walk."

The Lynches' emotions have been buoyed by the tremendous amount of support they have received from family and friends.

"I'm telling you, that's the other reason we have a lot of hope," Lynch said. "There are so many people out there praying for this kid. He's got to get better. That's why we're so positive."

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