Staying #LukeStrong

Langhorne Borough Business Association donates $10,000 to Luke Tynan’s medical fund

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

A generous donation: The Langhorne Borough Business Association gifted Luke Tynan, who was injured last year in a water accident, $10,000 of car show proceeds for his medical fund. Source: Langhorne Borough Business Association

It could’ve happened to anyone.

In summer 2017, 19-year-old Luke Tynan packed his bags for a July 4 vacation with friends in Cambridge, Maryland. After working full-time six days a week, a getaway was just what the Langhorne resident needed.

But on Monday, July 3, disaster struck. While hanging with his buddies on a dock, Luke slipped, belly-flopping into the water. Though the distance of the fall wasn’t great, his friends quickly realized something was seriously wrong. A few of whom were lifeguards pulled Luke from the water, attempting to stabilize him on a nearby picnic table. Soon after, he was choppered to the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center, where it was discovered Luke had broken his fifth cervical vertebra.

Luke underwent emergency surgery, followed by three long weeks of recovery and a transfer to the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia. By Nov. 2017, Luke was finally reunited with his Langhorne home, but the return was bittersweet — he was wheelchair-bound due to paralysis from his mid-chest down.

Currently, the now 20-year-old is taking it one day at a time, fighting to get back the strength he possessed during his Neshaminy track team and Langhorne Athletic Association days.

“He’s doing his best to recover and rehabilitate,” said his mother Lori.

Thankfully, Luke, Lori and his father Bill aren’t in this journey alone. Earlier this summer, the Langhorne Borough Business Association gifted the family with $10,000 of proceeds from its annual car show. Loved ones, friends and community members, along with Rep. Frank Farry and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, were in attendance during the special ceremony held at Hackers Bar and Grill at the Middletown Country Club.

According to John Keefe, LBBA member and head of the car show committee, this is the first year the organization has incorporated a fundraising aspect into the event. Initially, the group hoped to raise at least $5,000 for the Tynans. Needless to say, they significantly surpassed that goal.

“This is the largest chunk of money the business association has ever given,” Keefe said. “The generosity of people was just amazing.”

The funds came largely from local business donations, a 50/50 and basket raffles, most of which was organized by Keefe and his fellow LBBA members Bob and Vicki Frick, and Rich Jones and his girlfriend Linda Mechutchen.

In February at the Middletown Country Club, the business association met with Lori and Bill to discuss the prospect of having a portion of event proceeds go toward Luke’s medical fund.

“We gratefully accepted,” said Lori, reflecting on how the car show was always a favorite family tradition.

When the Tynans returned to that same place after the event to be presented with a check for $10,000, they were blown away.

“We just couldn’t believe it,” she said of the unprecedented amount. “It was very unexpected.”

After so much success, Keefe is positive the LBBA will continue to include a fundraising aspect into the car show, which this year also helped purchase a bike for the Langhorne Borough police.

In the meantime, the Tynans will keep their hopes up for Luke’s full recovery. Lori explained how they should know the final outcome within the next two years. But until then, things will remain uncertain.

“That’s the scary thing about spinal cord injuries,” she said.

As Luke regularly attends therapy to gain back feeling in his lower body, his family and friends are hosting various fundraising events on his behalf. On Friday, Aug. 3, Saturday, Aug. 4 and Sunday, Aug. 5, the #LUKESTRONG Softball Classic will take place at Middletown Community Park, 2600 Langhorne-Yardley Road in Langhorne. Though registration is currently closed, the public is invited to observe the light-hearted competition, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with an opening ceremony. The event runs on Saturday from 9 a.m. to dusk, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A golf tournament will also be held Oct. 13 at the Middletown Country Club, 420 N. Bellevue Ave. in Langhorne. Proceeds from both events will benefit Luke’s medical fund.

In addition to monetary support, Lori reflected on the emotional support her family has received over the past year, which includes neighborly visits to their home and special prayers dedicated to Luke.

“We’re very grateful to friends, family and the community for how they’re rallying around Luke,” said Lori.

For those wishing to contribute to Luke’s medical fund, donations can be made at paypal.me/lukestrong2017 or by mailing a check to the Tynans’ home at 219 E. Richardson Ave., Langhorne, PA 19047. Information about upcoming fundraising events can be found at caringbridge.org/visit/luketynan. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com