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Trampoline fall breaks woman’s neck

Tricia Sancranti is due to be discharged next week from Dodd Rehabilitation Center in Columbus. She was paralyzed from the neck down after an accident on a trampoline in late July. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — Tricia Sancranti grew up in Williamstown. She lives in Columbus, was married to her boyfriend of 14 years in April and worked in information technology with L-Brands, a group of companies that owns, among others, Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works.

On July 27, she was visiting friends and decided to play with the children on their trampoline. As she tried to complete a flip, she landed upside down. Her neck snapped.

Now, more than two months and many medical procedures later, she can breathe on her own and speak, but she’s facing the prospect of a long time, if not a lifetime, of around-the-clock care and movement only by use of a specialized wheelchair.

Her sister, Kristin Roddy, has launched a fundraising campaign to help her.

“She has insurance, but she is going to have astronomical bills,” Roddy said Tuesday. “She is scheduled to get out of rehab Oct. 8. They’ll need a hospital bed at home, 24-hour care, an electric wheelchair, a ramp, a lift.”

Roddy said Sancranti has recovered some of her physical functions — she was on a ventilator, but can now breathe independently and speak — but she hasn’t regained movement in her legs and can move her arms but not her fingers.

“I’m trying to get the community involved and get the word out,” Roddy said. She has established a Freefunder online campaign with the goal of raising $10,000. After a week of online fundraising, donors have committed $1,145.

According to details on the campaign site, Sancranti has already been through life-and-death challenges in her treatment. She was given emergency surgery after the accident at Grant Medical Center, during which pins, rods and screws were used to fuse her neck vertebrae back together. She was placed on a ventilator to breathe, fed through a tube and suffered two bouts of pneumonia and was placed on kidney dialysis for several weeks. After her ability to breathe on her own was restored, she was discharged into a rehabilitation center, where she remains. She can eat and drink normally, with some limitations.

Her husband, Mike Sancranti, has stayed with her during the ordeal and taken leave from his work with Chase Bank, Roddy said.

“It is remarkable how positive she has been through the whole process and determined that she will walk again,” Roddy said.

Speaking from the Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center on Tuesday, Tricia said she feels like she’s come a long way since the injury.

“I’m doing as well as can be expected, the medical stuff is taken care of and now I’m focused on physical rehab,” she said. “I’m learning how to do things again, learning how to stand, doing weights, cardio. It’s very busy at this facility, they keep you very tired. The day starts with breakfast at 8 a.m., then it’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, speech therapy.”

With a break for lunch, the day ends at 3 p.m., she said.

“My accident was seven or eight weeks ago, and I couldn’t speak or breathe on my own,” she said. “I’ve really been making progress.”

More than a month of being bedridden at Grant took a toll, her husband Mike said. Tricia, 45, was an active person who enjoys international travel and cooking, is a recreational boxer and has a mini-brewery she and Mike operate at home.

“She’s having to build her muscles back up with weights. She started out with three pounds, now she’s up to seven or eight,” he said. “She’s having to learn how to think differently in order to move.”

“That’s one of the hardest things to do,” Tricia said. “When you can walk, you really take things for granted.”

She expects to be discharged from Dodd next week, after which she’ll become an outpatient at Martha Morehouse medical center, another clinic in the OSU complex. She’s scheduled for three hours of treatment three days a week, which doesn’t include any therapy routines she’ll have to do at home.

“I will walk again if at all possible, and I’m determined to go back to work,” she said. “I just need my fingers to function again. And I want people to know that I am thankful for everyone who has helped, especially my sister and my husband.”

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons said that in 2018 more than 300,000 Americans sought medical treatment because of trampoline injuries, and a third of those went to hospital emergency rooms. About 90 percent were children, and most of them were injured by colliding with another child on the trampoline.

For more information on contributing to Tricia’s recovery, visit freefunder.com/campaign/tricia-sancranti-benefit.

Michael Kelly can be reached at mkelly@mariettatimes.com

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The Tricia Sancranti File

* Age: 45

* Community: Grew up in Williamstown, resides in Columbus

* Assistance needed: Paralyzed from the neck down in a trampoline accident, requires support for equipment and home care

* Medical prognosis: Uncertain at this time

* To contribute: freefunder.com/campaign/tricia-sancranti-benefit

* Donations can also be made to an account set up by Sancranti’s sister, Kristin Roddy, at Peoples Bank locations. Donors can give Roddy’s name to donate to the account to benefit Tricia Sancranti.

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