TAFTON - A 10-foot fall from a roof is not going to stop Rob Forsythe from living life. In July, Forsythe was helping a friend when he fell, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. But, Saturday he was in great spirits, laughing and talking with the many who turned out at the Tafton Fire Department to enjoy homemade spaghetti and meatballs to support their friend.
Carrying several containers of hot spaghetti to go, Virginia Weniger called Forsythe a “terrific guy” that she believes will walk again because he is a “fighter” with the “greatest attitude.” Weniger knows Forsythe from Tanglewood Resort, where she is the director and he has done some work.
A long-time employee at Cassel Construction, many of Forsythe’s colleagues called him a “nice guy” who was the “go to person” because Larry Kipp said Forsythe would get the job done. “If something needs to get done, it doesn’t matter what is it, ask Robbie” said Kipp.
Two months after the accident, Forsythe said he was “doing good.” Being positive is how he has always been and now, despite his present setback “It will take a lot more then this to bring me down.” The support of everyone has been “overwhelming” Forsythe said. As he spoke with the News Eagle, again and again people stopped to ask how he was doing and he told one friend he is no longer afraid of sneezing since his seven broken ribs are healing.
After the accident Forsythe was in the hospital for a week, where his spine had to be reconstructed, which was then followed by seven weeks of rehabilitation. Adjusting to his present situation, Forsythe said has “definitely been different” because everything takes twice as long to do and one example is needing 20 minutes to get dressed. He added, “you figure it out and you go.”
Saturday, Rena Cassel said Forsythe is a “great guy” and when he finishes a job, people remember who he is because aside from being a hard worker, he is a good friend.
At the dinner, Eric Cassel called Forsythe a “wonderful man” who is hardworking and a “great guy.”
Linda Coutts, Forsythe’s mother said her son is an independent person, so he doesn’t seek too much help, but the dinner will help ease some stresses so he can focus on his health in the meantime. The support of everyone has been amazing, because her son has a family to support and the fundraiser will be helpful since there are some medical expenses that insurance doesn’t cover, as well as other bills and daily expenses.
Family and friends offered the full course meal of spaghetti and meatballs with salad and an array of desserts. Simply, Coutts said, everyone is “team Rob” and her son’s favorite saying is to “never give up” and so, there are no plans of letting his present setback stop life.
Looking to the future, Forsythe said the plan is to continue with the doctors’ appointments, attend outpatient rehabilitation and from there, he will take it one day at a time. As of now, he is paralyzed because his spine is still in shock. Forsythe explained that when there is a traumatic injury it could take months to years for the spine to “wake up.” Because he didn’t have a full severe of his spinal column, there is a chance he could “get something back.” The reality though, is that it’s a matter of time. Currently, he doesn’t feel anything in the spine, but his broken ribs are what has slowed him down because his upper body movement is essential now. Before the accident, Forsythe had never broken a bone, but with this accident he said jokingly, “Go big or go home.”