Terry’s Owner Talks About Recovery From Crash


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Terry's owner Les Gwyn-Williams survived a plane crash in February and went through months of rehabilitation.

It is a cold winter day. You are getting ready to land your plane at Lincoln Park airport, but your fuel line freezes. You know it’s risky, but you have no choice but to fly into a tree.

This was the case for our friend, Les Gwyn-Williams. Most of us know him as the owner of Terry’s Drugs, on Bloomfield Avenue; others as a family member, friend, or colleague.

The immediate repercussions of the February 10 accident were 14 broken bones. Les broke his right leg and left hip, both arms, his rib cage, and part of his skull. Lucky for Les, there was no internal damage. He stayed in the hospital for a total of five weeks and, Les says, the support from his family, friends, and the hospital staff helped him through it.

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Along with the support from family and friends, Les says the cards he received also really helped him through his difficult time in the hospital. The students of H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, who are frequent visitors to Terry’s, sent Les bags filled with hundreds of cards with warm “get well soon” wishes for him. Because Les couldn’t hold the cards himself, one of his friends read every card to him. Some, he says, made him laugh out loud; others brought a tear to his eye.

“I thank God everyday for the life I’ve been given and for the family I’ve been blessed with,” says Les. “I also want to thank all of my friends from Verona who have come to me in many, many ways through this ordeal. It made my recovery seem easier and faster. I also can’t say enough good things about Morristown Hospital. The doctors and staff there are truly amazing.”

Business remained the same at Terry’s Drugs while Les was in the hospital. He praised the employees there for doing “a great job”, and said it really impressed him. Les believes that this tragedy brought his family closer together.

Often in life, we take most things for granted; it is human nature. We are happy with our lives, but often don’t take a minute to acknowledge it. However, it is during the time of need where we must come together. As we go through life, we all realize this lesson one way or another. Life is a fragile gift. We never know what tomorrow will bring. If we live life in the present and value each and every day–that is how we will end up really happy.

We can all thank God that Les is all right. It is truly a miracle.

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Dominique Marino will enter 8th grade at HBW in September.

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  1. It wasn’t until I got to the end of the article and saw the note about its author (I’d skipped right over the byline) that I realized the item was written by someone other than Virginia; the story was that good.

    Thanks, and kudos, to Dominique Marino for producing this finely crafted piece of journalism.


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