2015 Polar Plunge

*****UPDATE – Last night I had an email conversation with Judy Tracy, Alexandria’s aunt who has done yeoman work pushing the Plunge and attracting many friends and relatives of Ally’s to the event.  It became evident to both of us that trying to hold the Plunge as originally planned this Saturday, February 7th might border on dangerous.  The frigid weather, fighting to get out of single digits,  combined with many new Plungers could spell some danger.  Also, the amount of snow on the beach could make it more difficult than any other year we’ve done this to get to the water.  As Judy said, “We’ve already experienced one tragedy, we don’t need another.”  We have decided to change it until Saturday March 14th at noon in Seabrook, NH.  The beach at Ocean Boulevard and Newbury Streets.”******

 

Alexandria S. Teixeira, a 21-year-old Nashua resident seriously injured in a Dec. 14 auto accident in Tyngsborough. All funds will go to help her with medical and other expenses she will encounter along her long road to recovery.

With a plethora of brand-new photos of baby Alyvia downloaded, Nashua resident Alexandria Teixeira and her boyfriend, Brett Devincenzi, strapped Alyvia into her car seat, climbed in their car, left the home of Alexandra’s mom and headed for Pheasant Lane Mall to visit Santa.

It was a mid-December Sunday afternoon and Alexandria was having a blast going visiting with 1-year-old Alyvia and Brett, family members recalled. When they saw the long line for the mall Santa, they happily switched to Plan B: Take Alivia to visit Brett’s grandmother in Dracut.

But moments after they crossed into Massachusetts, as the landmark iron bridge that spans the Merrimack River in Tyngsborough was coming into view, the sickening sounds of shattering glass, crunching metal and hissing engine parts filled the air.

Now, nearly three weeks after the Dec. 14 crash involving Brett’s Nissan Rogue and a Subaru Impreza operated by a man from Westford, Mass., Alexandria Teixeira lies in Tufts Medical Center in Boston, visited and comforted by a parade of members of her large and extended family and plenty of friends. They all have a prayer that Alexandria recovers conquering the paralysis that resulted from the head and neck injuries she sustained in the crash.

“The best-case scenario is that it won’t be forever,” Gina Teixeira said Wednesday, referring to her daughter’s paralysis. The upside, she said, is that Alex is alert, can roll her eyes and shrug her shoulders, and it appears to have suffered no lasting brain damage.

Alyvia, thanks to her carseat, was uninjured, Teixeira said. Devincenzi sustained a head injury and got a few stitches, was treated at Lowell General Hospital and rushed to Alex’s bedside as soon as he was released.

As is typically the case when catastrophic injury strikes, Alex’s medical costs and related expenses are sure to rise well beyond the insurance coverage she has. To address that, the family set up a trust fund, details of which, including how to donate, appear in an accompanying information box.

Gina Teixeira said the fact she happens to be an emergency room nurse is helpful now, but not so much when she got that dreaded call.

“I knew when I got the call it wasn’t good,” she said, referring to the preliminary reports she was getting on her daughter’s condition. “But it’s better, at least a little better, to know what’s going on.”

Nobody, not even Alex’s doctors, knows at this point is whether the vivacious 21-year-old who, between working full time, going to school nights and caring for Alyvia seemed to be in perpetual motion, will one day walk on her own.

“We really don’t know until the swelling comes down and she gets into rehab,” Gina Teixeira said. “She’s had her surgery, and right now she’s using a breathing tube. It’s just to early to tell.”

Alex has managed to get out of her hospital bed. “She got out twice, with the Hoyer lift,” Gina Teixeira said, a hint of optimism in her voice. She referred to the mechanical hoist used to move people with limited mobility.

Gina Teixeira refers to her daughter as a “work-a-maniac” who was 14 when she started working a regular job. Until recently, Alex worked at the Market Basket store in Hudson, studying for her LNA certification at the same time – even through her pregnancy with Alyvia.

Long term, Teixeira said, Alex had been leaning toward a medical career, and just recently took a step in that direction by taking a job at a Nashua neurosurgery practice. “She had her own apartment … was very independent,” she said.

“If Alex put her mind to something, she just went for it,” added Judy Tracy, one of Alex’s cousins. “As a child she was one of those little girls everyone had in their house. She’s always been close to everyone.”

Teixeira and Tracy both said it’s hard to find words sufficient to convey how grateful they are for the support, both emotional and financial, they and Alex have received.

“I don’t even know how to say thank you,” Teixeira said. “Words can’t even … we’re so grateful for all the help we’ve already been given.”

Tracy agreed. “The outpouring from people – (including) people we don’t even know – has been just wonderful,” she said. She cited for instance a woman they never met who happened by the accident scene and called the family later to see how Alex was doing.

Right now, Teixeira said, the family is trying to get together a birthday party for Alyvia, who turns 1 on Jan. 4. Down the road, they will also be working on some kind of fundraiser for Alex’s fund, an event they will probably schedule in October to coincide with Alex’s birthday.

 

Alex and her daughter

Alex and her daughter

 

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