The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

July 15, 2013

Friends, family seek to help man paralyzed after fall from roof

Man injured after June 13 microburst storm in Stanly County

By Tiffany Thompson, Staff Writer

Monday, July 15, 2013 — Family and friends have come together to support a Stanly County man who was paralyzed from the waist down after falling from a roof recently.

Wendy Brown, a cafeteria worker at Endy Elementary School, explained that her husband, Brian, is a good, kind man who tries to help others whenever he can.

“He is a good man. He’s always been kind hearted. He is good to everyone,” Wendy said.

Brian fell from a neighbor’s roof on June 13. He had been helping the neighbor clear a tree from the house, which fell as a result of the microburst storm that hit the area that day.

“We were coming from picking up our son from practice. Our daughter was at the neighbor’s house because she was scared because of all the wind. She let us know that the tree had fallen on the house,” Wendy said.

“We immediately started helping. We called the insurance company and we were taking pictures.”

Brian started taking pictures of the tree that had fallen, but Wendy said he knew more storms were supposed to move through the area. He didn’t want the house to flood, so he set to work clearing the tree.

“He wanted to get the tree off and the roof covered before more storms came and the inside got damaged, too,” Wendy said.

Brian didn’t have a chainsaw, though, so he called on his good friend, Glen Rogers. Together they were able to remove the tree. But as Brian made the turn on the roof to begin his descent down the ladder, he fell.

Brian was rushed to Stanly Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

“He was taken by ambulance to Stanly, but they told us pretty much right away that his injuries were extensive enough that they were going to have to send him to CMC,” Wendy said.

Upon arriving at CMC, crews got to work to make Brian feel comfortable while also stabilizing him. He then learned that some of his vertebrae had been crushed, while others had been fractured. And one of his vertebrae had punctured his spinal cord.

“It didn’t sever it completely but he was paralyzed from the waist down,” Wendy said.

Brian had surgery to fuse some of his vertebrae together, and then after approximately a week he was transferred to rehab. But after discovering two pulmonary embolisms, Brian was taken back to CMC for another week, part of which he spent in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He has since been transferred back to rehab, where he continues to work to improve his strength.

“We know it’s going to take time, but the doctors tell us he is getting stronger,” Wendy said, adding that Brian may possibly be able to come home July 25.

“It’s been hard at times to see him get frustrated because he doesn’t have any control from his waist down.”

Family and friends of the Browns decided they wanted to help Wendy, Brian and their three children, Brittney, Andrea and Cameron. A benefit has been scheduled for Aug. 10 at Endy Volunteer Fire Department.

“It has been very overwhelming to see the support everyone has given us,” Wendy said.

“We feel blessed to have people that care this much about us. We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of people who have prayed for us and the people who have visited. It has been tremendous, and we really appreciate what they are doing.”

The benefit will include a barbecued chicken plate for an $8 donation. The plates will begin to be served at 10 a.m. A cornhole tournament will start at 10 a.m., while registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $10. The tournament will feature double elimination, and the winner receives $200.

The benefit will include a silent auction from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with a live auction beginning at 4 p.m. The winners of the silent auction will be announced at that time.

Benefit organizers ask for help in sponsoring the cornhole tournament as well as for volunteers and items for the live and silent auctions.

For more information, contact Tommy Shields at (704) 322-8249, Mika Rogers at (704) 438-5775 or Trent Whitley at (704) 361-2148.

To submit story ideas, contact Tiffany Thompson at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or tiffany@stanlynews