Around Town: Headed Home - Moons’ ordeal hoped soon to take turn for the better
by Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney, Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
June 13, 2011 12:00 AM | 2649 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IT'S BEEN A LONG, ROUGH ROAD for the Moon family of east Cobb, with more bumps still ahead; but a longed-for goal is just around the corner: the day when Victoria Moon comes home after seven months in a series of hospitals after suffering a severe skull fracture in a fall two days before Thanksgiving last year.

Mrs. Moon is set to come home a week from today from the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, according to husband Stephen.

"For now, we are planning a quiet gathering of family and close friends, and hope to hold a larger celebration in the near future," he told Around Town on Monday. "I think it will be a boost for Victoria's memory and for our family to finally get her home. She can take some steps with assistance and has regained some mobility in the right hand and arm, which were paralyzed. And she is very alert. Her memory and awareness are around twenty or thirty percent, but a lot of the memories are in there which come out with some prompting."

Mrs. Moon had just undergone a blood draw during a routine physical at her doctor's office in east Cobb last November when, standing up in the waiting room, she became dizzy, fell backward and landed hard on the floor, fracturing her skull from the temple down almost to her jaw. Doctors performed emergency neurosurgery immediately upon her arrival at WellStar Kennestone Hospital and she has had nine more surgeries since then. Part of her skull was initially removed and implanted in her abdomen to keep it viable while her brain swelling subsided. It was put back in place in March.

Her odyssey has included long stints at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Sheperd Center in addition to Kennestone, as well as an eight-week coma and what was first feared to be "likely brain death," according to her husband.

"I chose to pursue life at all costs both at the time of the emergency surgeries and the later refusal to remove life support given three medical opinions to the contrary," he wrote AT. "But the aftermath of this injury has touched every aspect of our lives. I hired a full-time nanny for our three children and will need 24-hour supervision for Victoria. But we chose to err on the side of life, and this is the cost."

And not the only one. After spending most of the time since his wife's accident by her side, Moon, who ran unsuccessfully last year for the Cobb Board of Commissioners, recently was let go by the architectural firm at which he had worked for years.

"So I am in the process of evaluating a number of career decisions," he said in an interview. "However, God has blessed us immeasurably to have so many prayers answered, and we are hopeful for this new chapter in our lives. I have been able to use our situation to help a lot of people who have approached me and who are experiencing crisis in their own lives."

For now, Mrs. Moon continues her rehabilitation. She walks with the aid of two assistants and is still piecing memories together.

"She calls me 'husband' and some different (incorrect) names, but she knows who I am," Stephen said.

The Moons were the beneficiaries of several community fundraising events during the winter, and their close friends and church networks held a special day of prayer and fasting for them June 3, which was their 16th wedding anniversary.

"Victoria's condition has improved greatly since that time, prompting the early discharge from the hospital," Stephen said.

Meanwhile, he is scheduling speaking engagements at civic and faith-based groups to share their story.

For more, go to www.caringbridge.org/ visit/victoriamoon/mystory.

"Victoria's fight has been a true miracle," Stephen concluded.

And an inspiring one. It's also one that we at AT, and the rest of the community, hope continues.

NEXT SUMMER’S REFERENDUM on a Transportation-SPLOST for metro Atlanta is expected to be a hot-button issue in next year’s race for Cobb Commission Chairman. Incumbent Tim Lee says there’s strong support for a light-rail line, even without any kind of organized “push” for one as of yet.

“We have an indication that it makes sense, from the studies,” he told the MDJ on Friday. “We’ve got an indication from the public that they want an alternative to automobiles. And when you talk about what those alternatives might be, 51 percent say trains are a good solution. That’s without any dialogue or conversation.

“I think times have changed. I think folks are ready for discussion about whether it makes sense for the future of Cobb and the region. There’s regional leaders who believe this is a turning point similar to the decision to build or not build (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta) airport.

“They do the constant comparison of Atlanta and Birmingham. Birmingham had the opportunity to do the airport at the same time we did and they chose not to, and we did, and as a result we had the Olympics and a lot of other stuff, growth that they haven’t experienced.”

But what about the possibly prohibitive cost of such a rail line?

“It’s like you saying ‘I want to buy a car’” he explained. “Well, ‘How much is it going to cost? I haven’t decided which one it is.’ Well no, but I need to know how much it’s going to cost. You can’t afford the Taj Mahal. But that’s what they’re going through at the (Atlanta Regional Commission).”

He referenced last week’s Metro Atlanta Northern Crescent Transit Summit at the Galleria Centre, saying it wasn’t a discussion about cost, but about what a rail system does for a community.

“Whether it’s $3 or $300,000, the discussion was, is it worth looking at? There were people there who hadn’t heard the whole story,” he said.

Lee said he’s not quite ready to start a public push for rail, though.

“I won’t really get on the bandwagon until the data comes out that substantiates the decision that some type of transit system is viable,” he said. “I will get out there when the time is appropriate. People are on summer vacation. It’s hot. When the data comes in in 60 to 90 days, if it supports my position, I’ll have to get engaged. I can’t sit on the sidelines. I’ll either have to rally for it or rally against it, based on what comes out.”

Speaking of the TSPLOST, the ARC will host 10 telephone town halls starting this week. The Cobb meeting takes place at 7:15 p.m. tonight, a different hour than first announced. To take part, dial (888) 886-6603 at 7:15 p.m. and enter PIN code 16720.

THE ATLANTA BRAVES are hosting a pregame Flag Day tribute to President Ronald Reagan tonight. And the Kennesaw State University Young Republicans are planning a Reagan Tribute Tailgate party outside Turner Field before the game. Among those invited and expected to attend are Gov. Nathan Deal and wife Sandra, reports KSUYR spokeswoman Leanne Livingston.

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THE MARIETTA BLUE DEVIL football team is partnering with Delta Community Credit Union to raise money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to athletic director Paul Hall. Last season the team raised approximately $5,000 for CHOA in its “Cash for Kids” fundraiser where students (and faculty) dropped coins and dollar bills in the buckets of the class they represented.

Next up is a charity golf tournament June 20 at Pinetree Country Club. Contact Marc Nichols at menicholsinc@bellsouth.net.

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WANT A RINGSIDE SEAT for the Marietta fireworks July Fourth? Marietta First United Methodist Church is again sponsoring “The Great American Family Picnic” on its spacious lawn, with reserved tables and lawn spaces, Williamson Brothers barbecue and childrens’ games, with proceeds going to benefit MUST Ministries and church youth mission projects. Call (770) 429-7800 or go to www.MariettaFUMC.org. ...

Marietta’s July Fourth Parade is just weeks away, but groundwork is being laid as well for the upcoming Veterans’ Day Parade Nov. 11, sponsored by the city and the Marietta Kiwanis Club. Grand Marshall will be former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers, according to club/ parade spokesman Scott Chadwick.

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GOV. DEAL will offer keynote remarks at the sixth graduation class of the Cobb Juvenile Court’s Family Dependency Treatment Court June 23. The 4:30 p.m. event will take place in the chapel of First Baptist Church of Marietta.

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QUIP: Rob Braswell, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance to the Marietta Rotary Club: “Bank regulation sounds glamorous, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be sometimes.”
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