Local roofer continues recovery from injuries
The family of Steve Lannon, the Millville roofer who fell about 30 feet while descending a ladder on Dec. 19, suffering severe injuries that will likely result in paraplegia, is expressing gratitude to the community for donations, good wishes and prayers.
Lannon, 62, is now off the ventilator that kept him breathing for weeks, though he remains on oxygen, his sister, Teresa Lannon Gallagher, told the Coastal Point this week.
“Some of his short-term memory seems like it isn’t there. He thought I had come from Alaska to see him. I’ve been back to this area from living in Alaska since 2007. The nurse was trying to tell me he’s come a long way and he said, ‘No, she’s the one that came a long way. She came from Alaska,’” Gallagher said.
“He remembered the fall when I asked him about it. He’s able to talk. He has a trach [tube]. but it’s his own voice. It’s isn’t a computerized voice,” she said.
Originally rushed to Christiana hospital, Lannon is now a patient at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington. He will eventually receive rehabilitation therapy, but plans aren’t yet firm.
Gallagher created a GoFundMe account to help with mounting hospital bills, at www.gofundme.com/f/steve-lannon, first setting the amount at $10,000, then increasing it to $25,000 after learning of the high cost of medical care for someone with her brother’s significant injuries. By early this week, $9,995 had been raised.
“People have been very generous. An anonymous person put a $1,000 donation under the door at Mango’s restaurant in Bethany Beach,” she said. Her brother Tom manages the establishment.
“We want to thank everyone for how wonderful they’ve been. Somebody else asked if they could go by and get Sam, Steve’s dog, and take him to visit, but the hospital said not yet,” she said.
Lannon arrived at Christiana in atrial fibrillation, with hemo-pneumothorax, a shattered back, broken sternum, skull fracture, bruised heart and nearly every rib broken, his sister said.
“Unfortunately, they are saying he will be paralyzed from the waist down,” she said, explaining that he had undergone a six-hour surgery “to help him be able to sit upright.”
“He had a brief time of being lucid before they put him on medication for induced sedation,” Gallagher’s husband, Gene Gallagher, said shortly after the fall.
“He said he tied his ladder the way it was always tied. As he was coming down, the ladder moved just enough for him to go off the side of it. “There are probably many people looking for him. ‘Where the heck is Steve Lannon? Where the heck is Steve?’”
Although he was a roofer, he also worked for the Shore Shop on Route 26 in Ocean View, and he worked evenings for other people. He is single with no wife or kids.
“He’s just a great guy. He’s got a good personality, a good sense of humor. He always has a kind word for someone. I’m telling you, he’d give you the shirt off his back. It’s devastating. The Lannon family is very, very tight. They are dealing with this as best they can,” Gallagher said.
“For Steve, it’s a very slow process,” she said. “We ask that everybody just continues praying for him. There is still a chance for a miracle that he will walk again. You never know.”
By Susan Canfora