By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer
Little more than six months after he was electrocuted in a roofing accident, Tyler Luchey feels blessed to be alive.
Less than a month after his June graduation from Sharpsville High School, Luchey was thrown 30 feet from the roof of a house and slammed onto the sidewalk after a tool he was using touched an electrical wire.
Doctors said Luchey, a star athlete at Sharpsville High School, could have been paralyzed or worse, but after half a year and five major surgeries later, he is walking.
“I’m an athlete,” Luchey said. “I don’t think God brought me this far to not be able to do everything I want to do.”
Luchey was a wide receiver for the Blue Devils football team and a starter for the basketball team. In basketball, he was selected for a senior all-star game featuring players from Mercer and Lawrence counties.
Luchey has come a long way since the accident that caused him to suffer a broken neck, broken ankles and heels, and burns over 40 percent of his body. He said he does not have any more major surgeries scheduled.
Recently, he played pool with his friends and was planning a trip to the mall. He was assisted by walking boots and a walker. He attended a Sharpsville basketball game last Friday with friends.
“I’m able to wear shoes now,” Luchey said. “I was just walking around yesterday.”
The day of the accident, Luchey had surgery to remove blood in his brain and was treated in the trauma and burn unit at UPMC Mercy, Pittsburgh.
Luchey said he remembers being on the roof and waking up in the hospital three or four days later to his sisters, who were in his room.
He has since had surgery on his neck and cheek, as well as a number of surgeries for skin grafts.
About two weeks after the accident, Luchey was moved out of the trauma unit. His recovery was complicated when he twice pulled his feeding tube out, but he made it home Aug. 1.
The people of Sharpsville banded together to support Luchey.
A Facebook page, “Thumbs Up for Tyler,” was created with updates on his progress. Fundraisers were held for him with the money deposited into an account used to help pay for his medical bills.
“I want to thank everyone who came together for me,” Luchey said. “Those who did even the smallest things to the greatest things. All the prayers.”
Luchey said his medical bills are mostly paid, thanks in part to “Thumbs Up for Tyler” T-shirts and a dinner at Thelma’s Sports Nook in Sharpsville.
“I’m glad I’m alive,” Luchey said. “I want to be able to go to the Buhl Club and play basketball again.”