Just a little over two weeks since being rushed to the emergency room of Yale-New Haven Hospital after on St. Patrick’s Day, Branford volunteer fire fighter Frank “Frankie” Palumbo is still undergoing extensive treatment.
His father Steven Palumbo, Captain of where he and Frankie volunteer, told Deputy Chief Ron Mullen that his son, a real fighter, is expressing his wishes to leave the hospital but he still has a long road ahead.
Frankie’s immediate family, including his dad, mother Bonnie, sister Jess, and brother Stevie, have been by Frankie’s side since the accident. Immediate family is only allowed to visit at this time, though concerned residents and friends are invited to visit Frankie’s Caring Bridge website to leave a message.
On the evening of March 17, Frankie crashed his pick-up truck at the intersection of Sawmill and Leetes Island roads; fire fighters, including his father and members of Company 5 had to extricate Frankie from the wreck.
Frankie sustained severe injuries to his lower extremities and since the accident, has undergone more than 40 hours of surgeries. At this point, Mullen reports that Frankie is undergoing more minor surgeries and finally has become extubated so he can verbally communicate with family; prior he was writing on a notepad to communicate. Frankie is still working towards eating instead of receiving feeding through a tube.
Frankie has endured significant damage to his right side, hip/pelvis area and to his legs. Doctors are working to repair damage and offer physical therapy so Frankie can get back to being “Frankie.” Mullen said, “He still has an extremely long road of recovery ahead of him that inevitably will hold some setbacks.”
Though he’s been “tough as a bull” through the surgeries, Mullen said his mother Bonnie has played a significant role in easing his struggle. “When Frankie’s heart rate increases, Bonnie leans over to Frankie, whispers in his ear and caresses his forehead. Steve said you can actually watch his heart rate come down on the monitor. A mother’s touch can work wonders.”
The family appreciates all the kind messages and thoughts for Frankie as he continues to battle. Soon as visitation is allowed, a scheduled will be made available for those interested in seeing Frankie.