Cornwall rallies behind local man hurt in mishap
CORNWALL — When times are tough, you find out who your real friends are.
Three weeks after being seriously injured in a fall, Cornwall resident Brian Trombley is finding out he has more friends than he could have ever imagined. The evidence has been popping up daily in his family’s kitchen in the form of casseroles and other tasty meals, courtesy of some folks he had never even met before.
It was on Oct. 11 that Trombley, 39, fell 16 feet to the ground from a tree stand in the woods behind his house off West Street. An avid bow hunter, Trombley had been climbing into his tree stand to try his luck on a Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, one of the stabilizing straps on the stand had rotted to the breaking point. That strap gave way to Trombley’s weight, sending him into a free fall. He landed awkwardly on one of his legs, breaking his heel bone, tibia, femur, knee and a vertebra in his back.
Writhing in pain, Trombley hollered for his son, Ayden, to bring his mom, Carrie, to the scene. She contacted rescue officials, who quickly arrived to take Brian to the hospital. Trombley underwent a major operation at Fletcher Allen Health Care on Oct. 13. He’s largely confined to a wheelchair and has been ordered not to place any weight on his leg for two months. He only recently began some light physical therapy.
“My surgeon said it was the worst (break) he had ever seen,” Trombley said.
Indeed, it could take more than six months for Trombley to regain enough mobility to return to his job as a lumber yard manager at Vermont Wholesale in Williston. Trombley credited his boss for being supportive while assuring him his job would still be there for him when he is ready to come back. But being out of work has been a financial blow for the family. Carrie Trombley is still recovering from a neck injury that for now prevents her from working outside the home. She currently does her best to care for Brian and Ayden.
Thankfully, the Trombleys are getting a huge assist from their fellow townspeople, particularly members of the Bingham Memorial School community. School Principal Abi Sessions got wind of the Trombleys’ predicament and suggested a “meal train” to lift some of their burden. Residents Nicole Comanducci and Jon Finn — the parents of one of Ayden Trombley’s classmates — agreed to organize the meal train. They e-mailed the other school parents asking if they’d be willing to sign up to periodically make and deliver some meals to the family. Fifteen families signed up and have provided hearty pastas, salads, breads, shepherd’s pie and other delicious dishes. Sessions herself chipped in with what Trombley said was some delicious lasagna.
“The support from this community has just been phenomenal,” Trombley said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I will never be able to repay them.”
And that won’t be necessary, according to Comanducci, who said it’s natural for a tight-knit community like Cornwall to take care of its own.
“I think it really says that Cornwall, and particularly its school community, is really like a family,” Comanducci said. “We help each other during times of need.”
The meal train help is expected to chug along at least through the end of this month, according to Comanducci.
And help has extended beyond food.
Some of the Cornwall parents have been taking Ayden to various activities to get him outside of the house from time to time. One of Trombleys’ best friends, Brian Blake, came over to the house recently to build an access ramp so that Brian Trombley can more easily get in and out of his home.
Sessions, a Cornwall resident, is giving her neighbors an ‘A’ for how they’ve helped the Trombley family.
“Cornwall is a special community, in the way children take care of each other at school and the way families take care of each other when these (kind of accidents) happen,” Sessions said. “I’ve been blown away by what a wonderful school this is.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].
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