1999-11-27 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter

Never is it more evident than around this time of year when we give thanks, appreciate and celebrate the many blessings we have…and never has the spirit and meaning of Thanksgiving been more apparent and appropriate in the life of Owen Baxter.

For whatever justifiable personal reason one may have for keeping something private, stories get out and seem to take on a life of their own. After all, I am told, "This is Rockaway!"

Owen recently sustained, with minimal injury, a terrible accident when he fell 40 feet off the roof and on to concrete. What was he doing up on the roof in the first place when he hired a roofer? As if a different use of judgement could have prevented his fall--as if a different twist of fate could have prevented a young girl from being hit with a brick. Nearly 300 people set on a flight to Egypt and never made it.

Life is so fragile--and in one precarious instant it can be taken or turned upside down.

Given the distance he fell, Owen is very lucky. He endured surgery on his leg, which was broken in three places. But bones heal and he will walk again. It could've been a lot worse. When the ladder gave out and he began to fall, his first thought was that he was "out of here!" He said his prayers--miraculously he survived.

And so he gives thanks…to the staff of Peninsula Hospital, to Dr. Ryan, to orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Henry and the South Island Orthopedic Group, to Peninsula Hospital CEO and President Robert Levine, and the nursing staff on the third floor. And to that guardian angel whose wings somehow caught and cushioned his fall.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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