On March 20, 2018, Bill Dingledine lost control of his bicycle while riding in Paris Mountain State Park and he smashed headfirst into a tree. Unconscious and on life support, Bill was airlifted to an ICU where doctors confirmed a fractured neck vertebra, spinal cord damage and paralysis below his shoulders. Breathing was a big question mark. Water pooled around his lungs; a chest tube was installed; a lung infection followed; and one of his lungs began collapsing.
Throughout this experience, Bill remained cheerful, smiling and “talking” with his eyes while the life support tube stayed down his throat for days. Friends and family rallied around him. With characteristic determination, Bill fought his way back and started breathing on his own. Every day since, he has continued to make tiny improvements – a thumb wiggle here, a pointed toe there – yet the outcome remains uncertain.
Bill’s fight has been incredible, but it is far from over. Medical costs for Bill’s care and rehabilitation are extraordinary, and will be ongoing for the rest of his life. This is especially poignant because he lacks long-term care insurance. It’s expected that all of Bill and Dale’s carefully saved retirement nest egg will be depleted in less than one year. It’s also expected that Medicare coverage will not provide for the amount and intensity of rehabilitation that Bill is likely to require. All funds raised for Bill will go to helping pay for his ongoing medical expenses, intense rehabilitation therapies, and necessary assistive technologies.
Bill’s grit and determination brought him back to cycling after a traumatic brain injury eight years ago. This time, his positive attitude and remarkable physical fitness so impressed his nurses and doctors that he was admitted early to the Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville, SC. It is the Dingledine family’s sincere hope that Bill will once again walk among us, volunteering at the local soup kitchen and giving out handshakes, hugs, and guidance to family members, colleagues, and students. Bill’s full rehabilitation is possible through the generosity of those who love him.
Thank you for your contributions, prayers and encouragement.
With deepest appreciation,
Bill’s Friends and Family