03/01/11 — Gonzalez to undergo surgery Wednesday

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Gonzalez to undergo surgery Wednesday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 1, 2011 1:46 PM

Gaspar Gonzalez

Gaspar Gonzalez, longtime advocate for Hispanics and former Democratic Party chair in Wayne County, will have surgery Wednesday for injuries sustained during a fall in late December.

Gonzalez was transferred to a VA medical center in Virginia last month after several weeks of treatment at a rehabilitation center at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. He had been injured while taking down Christmas lights at his home and fell from a ladder.

At the time, he said he had suffered some paralysis during the accident that bruised his spinal cord and several vertebrae. Early indications were that he would not require surgery.

But that has since changed and a neurosurgeon is expected to perform the operation on Wednesday, he said.

"They are taking a vertebra out that is pressing the spinal cord," Gonzalez said.

Overall, he reports that he has been "doing better" and his rehabilitation therapies have gone smoothly.

"I have better movement in my hands and feet," he said. "This (center) has everything that you need."

Physicians have indicated that Gonzalez could be treated at the rehab center until about May, he said.

In the meantime, he expressed appreciation for all the prayers and the outpouring of support received since news of his situation became public.

"I just say thank you to everybody that has inquired about me and thank you to everybody that has been so nice to me," he said.

Anyone wishing to send Gonzalez a card or note can do so at the following address:

Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 1201 Broad Rock Blvd., Richmond, VA 23249, Attn: Gaspar Gonzalez (1U).