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Aug 22, 2012 7:50 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

UPDATE: Good News For Injured East Hampton Lifeguard

Aug 28, 2012 12:41 PM

UPDATE: 10 a.m. Tuesday

Doris Quigley was able to move her left knee and thigh yesterday, according to an email update of her condition provided to the East Hampton High School community by John Ryan Jr., the chief East Hampton Town lifeguard. The Press obtained a copy of the email from Adam Fine, the high schoool principal.

“She astonished the doctors,” Mr. Ryan’s email said. “It is a small moment, but progress in the direction of recovery.”

Ms. Quigley has also been able to move her toes, foot and leg on the right side on command, Mr. Ryan wrote.

She is expected to be moved to New York City for in-patient therapy, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

Mr. Ryan said Tuesday morning that a group of eight lifeguards, including his daughters, had visited Monday night and found Ms. Quigley “in very good spirits.”

“Doris is amazing, that’s what they said,” Mr. Ryan said. “She really is.”

His email to Mr. Fine expressed thanks and appreciation on the part of the Quigley family for the thoughts and prayers of the school community as well as thanks “for all the training that prepared the guards for handling her injury.”

“Please keep up the thoughts and prayers. It is working,” Mr. Ryan said.

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. Friday

Doris Quigley can wiggle her toes on the right side, and her arms are stronger than they were on Thursday, her mother, Theresa Quigley, said in a text message on Friday. The 17-year-old girl is expected to spend three more days in intensive care, then some time in the regular section of Stony Brook University Hospital before moving to a rehabilitation center for people with spinal cord injuries.

Some “very good news” about her neck injury, a surgeon told the family, is that the spinal column was bruised, but not punctured. She is experiencing what the doctor described as “incomplete paralysis.”

Ms. Quigley said Doris’s friends have been lifting her spirits. “They are lovely young adults and so very generous,” she said. Among them are Matt Silich, Danielle Wright and Colin Kavanaugh, who paid a visit on Thursday. “They were wonderful and Doris loves them and all her friends who have texted, Facebooked and emailed,” her mother said. She added that her daughter “particularly appreciative of the close-knit team of the Atlantic Beach lifeguards and John Ryan Jr.”

The girl’s fellow lifeguards sent get-well cards and a framed picture of themselves, taken just Thursday morning, up to Stony Brook with East Hampton Town Supervisor Wilkinson, according the Mr. Ryan, the town’s chief lifeguard. “She just creates such a great relationship with friends,” Mr. Ryan said of Doris, adding that everyone at the beach had been asking how she was doing, including one of the doctors who came to her aid on Wednesday.

Theresa Quigley and Helen Quigley, Doris’s older sister, spent Thursday night at the hospital. “We are a very close family and very loving. We are all sharing this burden with Doris and glad to do it—indeed, if any one of us could take it from her, we would.”

UPDATE: 5:47 p.m. Thursday

Doris Quigley, the 17-year-old daughter of East Hampton Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, underwent surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital for a broken neck Wednesday evening after diving into a sandbar at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett.

The young woman was in intensive care following the two-hour surgery, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said early Thursday afternoon.

“It’s too early to tell her condition. She came through surgery. She is brave,” her mother said in a text message Thursday afternoon. “We are hopeful for Doris,” Ms. Quigley said. “We do not have any news at this time, as she is still recovering from the surgery.”

She did say that her daughter was “incredibly” articulate and has “no cognitive issues at all.”

The young woman, who is an East Hampton Town lifeguard, had just finished her shift at Atlantic Avenue Beach and went into the water “just to cool off” at about 4 p.m., according to John Ryan Jr., chief of the town lifeguards.

“She dove in and hit her head somehow,” Mr. Ryan said, explaining that it went into a sandbar, possibly after she dove over a wave and “inverted” so that her feet were above her head.

An Amagansett Ambulance crew took the injured swimmer from the beach to the Amagansett Firehouse to meet a Medevac helicopter, which landed on the firehouse property at approximately 5 p.m. and took her to Stony Brook University Hospital.

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Oh my goodness, I hope she will be ok. Prayers for a full recovery.
By marybmary (54), east hampton on Aug 23, 12 2:18 PM
Sending best wishes to Doris and her family. Hoping for a speedy and full recovery! Keep the faith.
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Aug 23, 12 7:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wow. Very scarey. I hope she makes a full recovery!
By Rich Morey (378), Brooklyn on Aug 24, 12 10:18 AM
Prayers sent for the Quigleys.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Aug 24, 12 5:00 PM
Years ago we used to get teen boys every summer at a hospital up island who dove into a sandbar at Smith Point and were quadriplegic afterwards. So, so sad. Luckily that is not the case with this young lady.

Be careful out there.
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 24, 12 5:21 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By c'mon now (46), southampton on Aug 24, 12 6:09 PM
Yes ! We like to hear good news !
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on Aug 24, 12 7:28 PM
God speed Doris. You are in our prayers.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Aug 24, 12 8:43 PM
Thank god for the most recent report. I hope that the statement that the "spinal column was not punctured" means that there was no fracture. Hope she recovers quickly enough to swim again this summer. Scary!
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 24, 12 9:58 PM
I will keep this young lady in my prayers for a speedy recovery. God bless!
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Aug 25, 12 8:50 AM
I wish you a speedy recovery.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Aug 25, 12 4:30 PM
Good news. Wishing a speedy and complete recovery.
By EastEnder (6), Sag Harbor on Aug 26, 12 10:16 PM