03/30/2006

McCloy Returns Home

Sago Mine Survivor Released From HealthSouth

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Randy McCloy Jr., the sole survivor of the Upshur County Sago Mine Disaster, was released from rehabilitation facility and returned home on Thursday, nearly three months after the accident.

“I would just like to thank everybody for their thoughts and prayers," McCloy said during a press conference before heading home with his family.

At the press conference, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III presented McCloy and members of his family, as well as his physicians, with a “Miracle Road” sign, symbolizing the renaming of the road to their home in Simpson. 

 Anna and Randall McCloy with Govenor Joe Mansion

“Randy’s survivial and recovery has been an inspiration to all of us. For the three months of intensive medical therapy, Randy has been unbelievable in how he has come through this ordeal. Today I’m happy to say that that the time has finally come for Randy to come home.”

Manchin praised McCloy’s wife, Anna, for her unwavering devotion to her husband throughout his recovery, as well as members of McCloy’s medical team.

“It seems only fitting that today is National Doctors Day, a time for people to show appreciation to the doctors who care for them and all of their loved ones. In West Virginia we are so blessed to have a team of doctors all around this great state, but most importantly those who have been part of this miracle,” Manchin said.  Govenor Joe Mansion, and WVU Physicians Lawerence Roberts, MD and Julian Bailes, MD listen as Russel Biundo, MD discusses Randall McCloy's condition.

McCloy was transferred to WVU Hospitals from St. Joseph Hospital in Buckhannon in the early morning hours of Jan. 4, two days after the explosion at Sago Mine that killed 12 other miners. During his 21-day stay at WVU Hospitals, McCloy received medical care from a team of WVU physicians including Larry Roberts, M.D., director of the WVU Hospitals John Michael Moore Trauma Center; neurosurgeon Julian Bailes, M.D., and rehabilitation specialist Russell Biundo, M.D., who oversaw McCloy’s care at HealthSouth.

McCloy’s physicians, as well as members of the HealthSouth rehabilitation staff were at the press conference to celebrate his homecoming.

“I think Randy is a fantastic success story. He exceeded my expectations in his recovery,” Roberts said. Roberts also praised the entire staff at WVU Hospitals in contributing to McCloy’s recovery.

Bailes echoed his colleague’s statements. “In terms of his neurological prognosis, I think it’s excellent. I think he's a got a great potential for a complete, possibly complete, recovery.”

Biundo described McCloy’s medical rehabilitation at HealthSouth, and what his future therapy as an outpatient will entail.

“Randy is going to keep working. He’s not normal, and he’ll tell you that.  His vision is not there, he is weak on one side – you can see it when he walks. And he doesn’t walk very well – he’s a little unstable. He’s still tremendous. Still amazing. It’s a transformation that I’ve never seen before and I do this every day. He’s going to need therapy, a lot of work on speech, language, memory and thinking.”

Video of Thursday’s press conference can be viewed at www.health.wvu.edu.

- WVU -


03-080
For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
casew@rcbhsc.wvu.edu
sw:03-31-06

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