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September 9, 2016

 

Injured in boat accident, Kaelynne is ready to come home

DeerPhoto provided by Amber Oursler

Kaelynne Driscoll, an 8-year-old Homer girl, is shown here with her new prosthetic leg, which she was fitted for after a July boat accident on Skanteateles Lake. She and her father were injured in the accident.

By NICK GRAZIANO
Staff Reporter
ngraziano@cortlandstandard.net

BOSTON — The 8-year-old girl from Homer, who lost her left arm and leg in a boating accident on Skaneateles Lake in July, is up and walking around, “mastering” the use of her new prosthetic leg, said the girl’s mother, Amber Oursler.
Kaelynne Driscoll received her prosthetic leg about a week ago while undergoing physical therapy in the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston, Oursler said.
Since receiving the leg, which the center ordered for her, Driscoll has had multiple sessions there practicing walking with it. Oursler said there is much for her daughter to process, but she is handling it well.
“The process has gone great,” Oursler said. “She is ready to walk on out.”
And she will be soon, Oursler said. She did not give a specific date, but the family plans on having a welcome home party for Kaelynne at 1 p.m. Sept. 17, at the Homer Community Building. She said the event is more of a family and friends gathering, but those who have helped out and shown support are welcome to join.
“She is absolutely ecstatic,” Oursler said about Kaelynne returning home. “She can’t wait to see her friends and begin living life again.”
Driscoll will not be returning to school right away, as there needs to be discussions with the school first and she still needs a couple of medical clearances before she can, according to Oursler.
Since the accident on July 6 there have been numerous fundraisers in support of Driscoll hosted by community members and local businesses.
Driscoll and her father, Christopher Driscoll, 32, were injured after falling off an inner-tube they were riding on Skaneateles Lake. After they fell off they were struck by the propeller of the 17-foot-long Bayliner boat that was pulling the tube, according to the Onondaga Sheriff’s Office.
The operator of the boat was later identified as the girl’s stepmother, Jamie Wheeler, 33, of Homer.
Wheeler and Christopher Driscoll’s 2 year-old son was also on the boat at the time of the accident, along with Driscoll’s brother Andrew, 24, and Andrew’s girlfriend Chelsea Greene, 21, both of Pembroke Pines, Florida, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
At the time of the accident, nearby boaters Eric Marcinkowski, 40, of Syracuse, and David Goetzmann, 28, of Skaneateles, were alerted and responded to assist Kaelynne Driscoll and her father. They rescued them from the water and brought them to the State Boat Launch, where they were met by emergency personnel, who transported them to University Hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Goetzmann and Marcinkowski were presented with the Onondaga Sheriff’s Office Civilian Recognition Award in a ceremony at the Skaneateles Fire Department Tuesday night.
Christopher Driscoll had non-life threatening injuries and was released July 9 from University Hospital inSyracuse.
But Kaelynne Driscoll received a head injury and lost her left arm and leg, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
No charges have been filed and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office said further information will be released by the end of the week.

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