Helping a Fallen Comrade

Friends, a fallen comrade needs our help. Jim Harvey is one of Windham, New Hampshire’s finest citizens, and a husband, father, sibling, friend and coach to many in his community. Jim suffered a catastrophic injury during a routine ride and needs our help. Read on. 

On Tuesday, July 27th, a beautiful sunny morning, Jim (who is 39 years old) was riding his mountain bike on the Clyde Pond trails in Windham, an activity he did at least a few days a week before work. While on a trail he had ridden countless times before, his bike stopped abruptly and he flew over the handlebars. Jim was wearing a helmet, but he unfortunately sustained a severe spinal cord injury to the c6/c7 cervical vertebrae, resulting in full paralysis from the chest down.

Jim is currently in the surgical ICU and has undergone multiple treatments and surgery to stabilize his condition. He has some arm and wrist movement, but we are being told not to expect use of hands or anything below his upper chest. We are waiting for the swelling to go down to see where he lands and are hoping for a miracle. The plan after his ICU stay is to move him to a rehabilitation center where he will live full-time for an estimated 3 months trying to regain as much function, independence, and strength as his injury will allow before returning home.

This life-altering event will unfortunately affect Jim and his family every day for the rest of their lives. With this accident comes a whole new host of unimaginable challenges, personally and within his family, that are overwhelming at best. The goal is to stay in their current house and community where they have so many ties, and make the home ADA accessible to minimize the impact to his children as much as possible.

Jim is a beloved member of the Windham community where he was born and raised by his parents Brian and Donna, along with his siblings Lisa and Craig. Jim still resides in Windham with his wife Alicia (his high school sweetheart), and their two young children.

A true athlete, outdoorsman, and lover of all things New Hampshire has to offer, his greatest joy is spending time with his family outdoors, sharing his passion for mountain biking, wake surfing, water skiing, boating, downhill skiing and snowboarding, hockey, camping, hiking, fishing, golfing, scuba diving, and coaching his children’s hockey and lacrosse teams.

There is nothing that Jim could not pick up and do as an athlete or a parent. Because of Alicia’s long hours as a retail pharmacist, Jim balanced his work with taking care of the kids and getting involved in their interests. He was their primary caregiver and, like everything else Jim does, embraced that role to the extreme and extended it to his community service which includes: Former Chair of the Windham Cooperative Kindergarten, Board Member and Coach for Windham Lacrosse, and Board Member for the Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association, where his passion for water quality was well served.

Jim attended Windham schools through middle school, Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, and the University of New Hampshire (Durham), where he got his BS in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a Systems Engineer at L3 Harris in Londonderry, NH.

Jim is a one-of-a-kind person- always with a smile on his face, a positive attitude, quick wit, and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. Even after this severe life-changing injury, he has continued smiling from his hospital bed, and in true Jim fashion, is looking for the positives within a truly horrific situation. Jim’s thankful to still be with us.

According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost of the first year of treatment for Jim’s cervical vertebrae injury is estimated to be $769,351 and each subsequent year is estimated to cost $113,423. Due to this significant financial impact, we are reaching out to our local community and beyond to open up donations to help offset the costs of medical bills, rehabilitation, transportation, home modifications, care givers, adaptive devices, loss of the ability to work, and family care that the Harveys will endure as a result of this spinal cord injury.

Any donation made will be greatly appreciated and go directly towards his medical care and family support. It is important to remember that no donation is too small, especially if the reach is large. Let’s band together as a community and help give the Harveys immediate assistance to give Jim the best care possible, so they can get back on their path and establish their new normal.

Everyone who knows Jim agrees, that if anyone can come back from this and “Blaze a New Trail” to defy the odds it’s him. We sincerely thank you on behalf of the Harvey family. Please see below for articles about the rescue, and please consider making a donation to Jim’s recovery.

DONATE HERE

Photos courtesy of Windham Fire Department & The Harvey Family

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