Daniel Inglis, a Lacey resident who was paralyzed after a car accident on Christmas Eve, will be returning for his second homecoming on Sunday, July 15 for a benefit car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at .
“Daniel is doing great,” his father Daniel Inglis Sr. said in an email. “He is looking forward to coming down to Lacey for the benefit car show, to see his friends and family and maybe even to sneak home to see his two dogs, Behr and Cleo, who he hasn't seen since the accident.”
for his sister Rachel-Lynn’s high school graduation. It was then that his father announced that the family is retrofitting the house to accommodate Daniel since he’s scheduled to return home for good in August.
Now considered a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down, Daniel is working toward mobility. After undergoing surgeries and months in Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, he was moved to Kessler for the rehabilitation process.
“It has been very busy at our home and up at Kessler,” Daniel Inglis Sr. said.
The ramp to the entrance of the home is about 70 percent done, he said. Daniel’s room and bath are being retrofitted with mechanicals and new walls.
The family has been busy ordering materials and medical equipment, keeping their home in order and searching for a vehicle to accommodate Daniel, he said.
“We have been blessed with some very good friends and their many talents helping,” he said, adding that Home Depot is also donating materials and support for the construction.
It the midst of all the busyness, the Inglis family visits Daniel four to six times a week. Previously, they were able to visit him daily.
“It is overwhelming and there’s little time to work to pay our household bills, which is a struggle for anyone in these economic times, but somehow it seems to work for now (we aren’t sure how),” Daniel Inglis Sr. said.
“Daniel’s progress is nothing less than amazing,” he said. “He has been giving the doctors at Kessler fits, because he has surpassed where they thought he would be.”
Daniel can now breathe over the ventilator at times, he said. The doctors have lowered his cuff, a balloon device which controls the airway, to zero and he has been able to tolerate it for two to three hours. His lung function has improved tremendously whereas last month, he only had 20 to 30 percent function in the left lung.
“We are hopeful that one day he will be able to be off the ventilator, or just need it when he sleeps,” Daniel Inglis Sr. said. “It’s still a steep mountain to climb but he has the ability and strength to surprise everyone and he says he is going to do it.”
During therapy, Daniel works on a bicycle that stimulates his leg muscles to push the pedals. The exercise is similar to the treadmill workout used by Eric LeGrand, a former Rutgers University football player and currently on the roster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who suffered a severe spinal injury during a game in 2010.
The bicycle will help Daniel’s muscles get stronger and bones stay healthy, Daniel Inglis Sr. said. Daniel is also working on upper body strength on a mat with therapists.
LeGrand and his mother Karen actually gave Daniel a tilt-table, a medical device in which Daniel will lay on and be tilted to a standing position. This helps with blood pressure and will give Daniel’s body the toleration to sit upright—a major feat with this type of injury that LeGrand has achieved.
“We can’t thank them enough,” Daniel Inglis Sr. said. “If you have seen the LeGrands on TV, that is only 10 percent of how really nice and down to earth they really are. They are incredible people and great role models. They inspire not only Daniel but also our family.”
The car show slated for Sunday will be one of the biggest Ocean County has ever seen, Daniel Inglis Sr. said. Between 300 to 400 cars and 100 to 200 motorcycles will be at the show. There will also be an antique fire truck muster, vendors, prizes and gifts, a DJ and a live band. Applebee’s will be donating food.
“It looks to be a great day for the families of Lacey to come out to see,” he said.
Registration, which will be at the north entrance of Gille Park, begins at 9 a.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle and $20 for vendor space.
“We have so many thank you’s to give. The support has been just amazing. With Daniel coming for a few hours to spend with us, it will be icing on the cake,” he said.