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Press Releases

Statement from Kevin & Carol Golden, Parents of Connor Golden

The following statement was provided to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue by the parents of Connor Golden, the Fairfax, VA teen injured in an explosion in Central Park on Independence Day weekend. Connor Golden has been a patient at Bellevue since the July 3rd incident.

Jul 18, 2016

Gratitude

We don’t know how to begin thanking the many individuals and institutions that have extended their warm embrace to help our family persevere through this ordeal. The extraordinary groundswell of genuine care and concern from the community, family and friends has given Connor and his family much needed comfort and assistance.
The Central Park explosion that took our son’s left foot and lower leg on July 3, 2016, has galvanized a group of concerned family and friends, who have banded together to help us start the process of healing. We are most grateful to everyone who has expressed concern or provided support. We would like to extend our special thanks (in no particular order of importance) to the following:

  • Connor has an autoimmune disorder known as Celiac Disease, and so we are thankful for Bellevue Hospital’s efforts to provide gluten-free meals and for the thoughtful contributions of gluten-free food by friends and relatives.
  • The parents of chorus students of Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia, and particularly Terry Edwards, who organized concerned parents to launch the Connor Golden Fund on the GoFundMe site to raise funds in support of Connor’s long road to recovery and rehabilitation;
  • We have been at Connor’s bedside in NYC since he was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center on July 3. Laurie Cacner and many other friends in Fairfax, Virginia have been instrumental in organizing and coordinating with members of our local community to assist our family back home with food preparation and other essentials;
  • The Boy Scouts of America, especially Troop 160 in Herndon, Virginia, which has organized the local scouting community to provide assistance to Connor and his family, and the Eagle Scout Association, which has awarded Connor a lifetime membership and provided other recognition;
  • The product software firm of 3Pillar Global, Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia, which is Kevin’s employer and has provided thoughtful care packages to the family and amazing moral support;
  • The public accounting firm of Thompson Greenspon in Fairfax, Virginia, which is Carol’s employer and has made a generous donation to cover the lodging costs of our stay in NYC, among other support;
  • Roger Linn, the inventor of the electronic musical instrument that Connor was carrying at the time of the explosion (known as a “LinnStrument”), who has graciously offered to repair the damaged LinnStrument free of charge.
  • The friends and relatives of Connor who have cheered him up through their visits to the hospital. Connor especially thanks Matthew Stabile and Caroline Lazar for their enduring friendship and tireless presence and support at the hospital.

We continue to appreciate the fine care that Connor is receiving from his caregivers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. In addition to delivering quality care, they are taking pains to make him as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. In particular, we would like to thank the orthopedic surgery team headed by Toni M. McLaurin, MD. MS, the nurses who have tended to Connor’s wounds, the social workers and therapists who have provided psychological support, and the physical therapists who have been working intensely with Connor on functioning without the use of his left leg.

Update on Connor’s Condition

Connor has undergone three surgeries relating to the amputation of his leg. He was released from the intensive care unit and is now recovering in the post-operative surgery unit. Although Connor continues to experience a great deal of discomfort from his wounds, his doctors inform us that the area of his amputation is healing well. We are hopeful that doctors will be in a position to release him from the hospital in the near future so that we can transport him home to begin rehabilitative treatment.
Connor has been drawing on his love of music as a source of strength to help him through this ordeal. In his hospital room, he has comforted himself playing music on his LinnStrument. Both he and the LinnStrument are survivors, and he finds solace in the fact that the music he plays with it transcends the evil that caused, and the suffering that has resulted from, the blast. Connor is a young man of indomitable spirit, and we have no doubt that he will rebound from this tragedy mentally and physically, and that he will prevent the loss of his limb from defining his life. He has a strong, supportive family and a large network of friends who will help him cope with and overcome his loss.
We understand that advancements in prosthetic technologies will make it possible for Connor to recover a significant degree of functionality in his left leg. The Dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Shelly Berg, also informs us that the university will make available to Connor an innovative software application and related treatment developed by the school’s Music Engineering Program in conjunction with university’s Miller School of Medicine. The application uses music to train amputees to walk with prosthetic limbs. Connor is proud to be a student in the Music Engineering Program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and is appreciative of all the resources and support that the university has extended to him. We are hopeful that these technologies and therapies will enable Connor to resume his active lifestyle in the near future.

Ongoing Investigation

The steady stream of encouragement and acts of kindness that have flowed to Connor from family, friends and concerned people everywhere stands in stark contrast to the depraved act that has claimed Connor’s foot and lower leg. When we received the initial phone call from Bellevue Hospital moments before Connor would undergo his first amputation surgery, Connor characterized the explosive as a bomb. Last week, Connor’s father contacted one of the individuals who came to Connor’s aid shortly after the explosion to thank him personally for his bravery. He is a former member of the US military and familiar with explosives, and he too believes that the source of the explosion was not a firework.
Connor does not profess to be a munitions expert, but he and his parents feel the need to share this information publicly. It is imperative that law enforcement apprehend the perpetrators. Connor and his friends have supplied investigators with their cooperation and support. We urge anyone having information about how the explosives came to be placed in the park to come forward and contact the police. We have been informed that the NYPD is offering a cash reward of $12,500 for information regarding the circumstances of the explosion.
For additional information, please see our earlier statement (July 8, 2016) on the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue website:
statement from the family of Connor Golden from NYC Health Hospitals-Bellevue


Contact: Evelyn Hernández, Bellevue Public Affairs, 212-562-4516

About NYC Health + Hospitals

The NYC Health + Hospitals health care system is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system, the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country, and one of the New York area’s largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlusHealth Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. The NYC Health + Hospitals health care system serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. The system provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. NYC Health + Hospitals/Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. The NYC Health + Hospitals system was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychealthSystem.org or find us on https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem/ or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.