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Garcia’s recovery exceeds expectations

Megan Doyle | Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nearly two weeks after his accident, the Notre Dame senior who fell from his third-floor apartment window said he is making “stellar” progress at Memorial Hospital.

Marcus Garcia, 21, fell about 25 feet from his apartment window in the Foundry Lofts & Apartments at Eddy Street Commons on Aug. 25 at around 4:30 a.m. An employee at a local bar saw him fall as she was leaving work for the evening and called 911.

In an email interview, Garcia said he was grateful for the response from friends and family who reached out to him after the fall.

“As I get ready to begin my rehabilitation, I want to extend my deepest heartfelt and emotional thanks to every single one of you — my family, my friends, many who I have yet to meet and the entire Notre Dame family — for lifting me in prayer and support,” he said.

While he did not remember the details of his accident, Garcia said he worked on homework that Thursday evening before making plans to spend time with friends.

“I don’t remember anything from before or after my fall except for one quick conversation I had with Fr. Tom Doyle,” Garcia said. “I believe I was either in the ambulance or on the stretcher and he asked me if I wanted him to call my parents. I said something along the lines of ‘That’s okay, I’m going to try and do this one myself.’ Then only a few seconds after the initial shock of my fall subsided, I felt the sharp pain in my leg and thought it would probably be wise to give them a call.”

Garcia’s parents arrived in South Bend that evening from their home in Turlock, Calif. His mother, Kimberly Garcia, updated his Facebook page during his initial recovery.

After 12 days in the hospital, Garcia said he has undergone multiple surgeries.

“I have had orthopedic surgery on my right leg … facial and tracheotomy surgeries,” Garcia said. “All have been successful, according to each of the doctors.”

Garcia’s doctors told him he is recovering faster than expected, he said.

“I am currently ahead of schedule, and, as my trauma doctor said, I am making stellar progress,” Garcia said. “My recovery now consists of walking each day to rehabilitate my leg [and continuing] to strengthen my breathing.”

Garcia said his tracheostomy tube will be removed shortly. When his facial injuries heal, doctors will also be able to remove the wires in his jaw.

“My biggest challenge right now, believe it or not, is getting in the 2400 liquid calories and 120 grams of liquid protein needed every day,” Garcia said. “I didn’t eat 2400 calories a day before the accident.”

Garcia said he could officially begin receiving visitors this past Sunday.

“Seeing friends has been the highlight of my recovery process so far,” Garcia said. “Please continue to keep me in your prayers as my recovery process will be lengthy and painful, but all things are possible through Christ our Lord.”