Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Joyful return soon sours

It was a return home that had been scheduled and cancelled two times already.

After more than five months at Craig Hospital, a spinal cord rehabilitation center in Denver, Tom Urbanski finally returned home to Las Vegas with his wife, Kathy, on Saturday.

It was Urbanski's first travel since becoming paralyzed in a shooting outside the Minxx topless club on Feb. 19.

The jubilation of returning home was short lived. When Urbanski arrived at the hotel where he and Kathy will live until renovations on their home are completed - an estimated three to six more months - they found that none of the medical preparations that were supposed to have been in place were in order for his arrival.

There was no sign of the nurse or health tech who would help with his medical care. There was no lift to get him into bed, and his wheelchair could barely squeeze through the doorways and in next to the bed, where he ultimately did a "board transfer" with the help of two friends and his father to get into bed.

Originally, Urbanski was scheduled to come back to Las Vegas on Aug. 10, then a week later. Those trips were cancelled because the worker's compensation insurance company did not having preparations ready, according to Urbanski's family and attorney.

So when the Urbanskis rolled into their new housing in Henderson on Saturday afternoon, they were horrified to find that basic necessities for his well-being were still not in place.

"I was looking forward to coming home and seeing everybody, it was great, and then I walked in the hotel room and had to experience this," Urbanski said. "It's a nightmare. Nothing was here that I need. I was supposed to have a nurse here to help change the wound that I need changed and I'm supposed to have a health tech to help me shower and do a bowel program, and there's nobody here. I'm just mortified."

Urbanski's lawyer, Matthew Dushoff, is following up on the situation.

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