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Remarkable Recoveries: Tom's Story

Tom Leonard on adaptive bike

"The work that is done [at Spaulding] is extraordinary and the hundreds of patients that are served here each year are truly lucky to have such a facility available to them."

  • A severe bacterial infection forced one patient to choose between losing his leg or life.

A severe bacterial infection forced one patient to choose between losing his leg or his life.

On December 8, 2010, Tom Leonard’s family made the wrenching decision to have a surgeon cut off his left leg, just above the knee. A rapid-moving and severe bacterial infection had invaded his leg and was now threatening his vital organs. Removal of the limb was necessary to save his life.

“Each day since,” Tom says, “has been a gift.” After he recovered from the surgery, Tom was transferred to Spaulding North Shore, where he remained for 11 weeks, learning how to walk with his new prosthetic leg. Bedridden for many weeks, the first moment he was able to be up and on his feet was a miracle to him.

He has trouble finding the words to describe the care, and the new lease on life, he received.  “It would be difficult for me to even begin to try to describe the wonderful therapeutic care I received in this great facility,” Tom observes. “Trying to single out one therapist over another would be like trying to suggest which of your children you love the best. They all have something unique to offer me and to challenge me with.”

While at Spaulding North Shore, Tom set a goal for himself: to attend his grandson’s graduation from St. John’s Prep and walk across the stage with his son and grandson to receive Legacy Award acknowledging three generations of alumni in one family. A few weeks ago, Tom did just that.

He is thrilled to be home and back into his busy round of activities as a newspaper columnist and board member of a number of local organizations. Spaulding North Shore helped Tom find his strength and returned him to the family and community that were waiting for him.

Tom Leonard knows the community well and recognizes what an asset it has in Spaulding North Shore. He notes, “The work that is done here is extraordinary and the hundreds of patients that are served here each year are truly lucky to have such a facility available to them.” Support by community members is critical to keeping this outstanding rehabilitation hospital ready to lend help and strength to all those who need our care.

Help us to continue to help patients like Tom find their strength.  Consider making a gift today at https://www.spauldingrehab.org/SupportOurWork/donateonline.

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