Though there’s no deadline for leaving the hospital, Darrell Handelsman — burned in a ballpark fire — is looking forward to a trip home and an eventual return to J.P. Riddle Stadium.
As you’ll recall, Fayetteville SwampDogs (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) co-owner/GM/coach Handelsman, SwampDogs operations manager Mark Wilderman and intern Jonathan Wilson-Daughtner were hospitalized after a May 24 propane explosion at J.P. Riddle Stadium. A gas leak on a commercial-grade grill caused an explosion when lit, creating damage in the grill structure and sending four to the hospital.
Since then Handelsman has been on the mend, recovering after burns covered 20 percent of his body, mostly on his legs. He’s up and walking, and he met yesterday with reporters. From the Fayetteville Observer:
Handelsman has not undergone any surgeries or operations yet, and doctors are still uncertain whether he will need one before going home. A decision also has not been made on when Handelsman will leave UNC Hospitals. That decision will be a collaborative effort between his family and the hospital staff. The main factor in determining a release date is whether he can manage appropriate wound care at home.
Helping expedite that process is his wife, Jody, who has begun learning some of the day-to-day treatments.
Handelsman said Jody has been a rock, balancing the care of their two children, their house and daily visits to the hospital. Jody said her husband’s improvement, including his face returning to normal, has been amazing.
Darrell is one of the good guys in the sport, and spending time with him at the ballpark or a conference is always a treat; glad to see him recovering.
RELATED STORIES: Handelsman, Wilderman on the mend; SwampDogs open season sans Handelsman; SwampDogs to launch season as planned; three remain hospitalized; Handelsman, two others in serious condition after Fayetteville ballpark explosion
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