Commissioner Louise Gulyas on road to recovery after serious fall

(Aug. 2, 2013) If Worcester County Commissioner Louise Gulyas has another fall like the one she had last Friday, she should not be waiting for hours before help arrives.

“She can wear [a Life Alert bracelet] or I’m going to have it implanted inside her,” her son, Thom Gulyas, said Tuesday.

Gulyas had found his mother on the floor of her downtown Ocean City condominium Saturday morning at about 9:30 a.m. She had been lying on the floor since about 3:30 p.m. the previous day because she had fallen on her dining room floor, hit her head and could not get up.

Thom had gone to check on his mother because she had planned to go to Lutherville with his wife to visit his sister, Laura, who is recovering from surgery. As he neared her door, he could hear her calling for help.

Louise Gulyas was taken to Atlantic General Hospital and then to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. That evening at about 9:30 p.m., Thom Gulyas notified close friends and family members of her fall. Word spread fast and at least one church congregation was praying for her quick recovery the next morning.

Gulyas said he was grateful for the response.

“I believe in the power of prayer,” he said.

On Sunday, Bud Church, president of the Worcester County Commissioners visited her at the hospital and reported that she was in good spirits and she had “full movement of her legs and arms.”

The next day, Monday, she celebrated her 79th birthday in the hospital.

“We took everything to her room,” Thom Gulyas said.

“Everything” included a cheesecake from Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, a new business in Ocean City. Because of the hospital setting, the cheesecake was not adorned with candles.

It was determined later that his mother would not need surgery because her spinal vertebrae C2 had cracked in a straight line and her spinal column was still in a straight alignment, Thom Gulyas said Tuesday.

Later that day, Gulyas left the hospital and was admitted to to Health South in Salisbury for rehabilitation. She will be wearing a neck brace for about three months and is expected to miss only a couple of the county commissioners’ meetings.

For more than a year, Gulyas has been walking with the aid of a walker. A year ago, in July 2012, she had double bypass surgery and a heart valve repair. In December, a pacemaker was installed.

This was not Gulyas’ first fall. A couple of years ago, she tripped on a rug in her condominium and fell, injuring her knee.

She has been a commissioner, representing Ocean City, since 1998.

In late May, she received the Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award at the Sixth Annual Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award luncheon because of her advocacy efforts and support of senior citizens.

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