[editor's note: updated to include information about the passing of the driver Patricia Nassirou]
In a cruel paradox of life, as hundreds of people gathered at Rosecliff Mansion on a spring afternoon to welcome home Heather Abbott, who had lost part of her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, an accident imposed the same unwelcome fate on a Middletown man.
On May 19, Luke Walker was turning into the Newport Creamery on West Main Road in Middletown when he was struck by a car driven by 67-year-old Patricia Nassirou of Newport. Nassirou was issued two traffic violations, but the consequences for Walker were much more severe.
Nassorou passed away on Oct. 16 of natural causes in Newport.
“She smashed right into him,” said friend Hugh Doyle. As a result of his injuries, Walker lost his right leg, from his mid-thigh down. His head crashed into the car door, leaving him with what Doyle described as severe brain trauma.
Walker is now learning to do what so many of us take for granted — walk again. He is at the Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital in Massachusetts, which specializes in brain injuries.
“He was recently fitted with a prosthetic right leg, and is making generally good progress," explained Doyle.
His family is taking it day-by-day, friends explain. Even five months after the accident, doctors have many unanswered questions about the extent of his brain injuries and recovery process.
“His daughter Jackie transferred to UMass Dartmouth to be closer to mom and dad,” said Doyle. His wife Bess owns Walker Interiors, an interior decorating shop on Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown. Before the accident, Walker used to do woodworking and restore vintage motorcycles.
Knowing that the Walker family will face an overwhelming amount of expenses including medical costs, home modifications and lost income, his friends have organized a fundraiser campaign. They are calling upon community members to help.
How you can helpOnline donations
You can donate to the family online here.
Prefer check? Send to
Middletown, RI 02842
Questions or ideas
contact Mike Coutcher at 401-374-2875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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