Ferndale’s Judge Longo Returns After Major Illness (video)

Ferndale’s Judge Longo Returns After Major IllnessHowesLocation (video)

(Court Press Release, March 19, 2014)

On March 19th, a very grateful and much healthier Judge Longo returns full time to the bench in the 43rd District Court.  The Judge expressed his sincere appreciation to all the caregivers he encountered in his recovery from a serious illness, from the initial emergency services he received at Michigan Orthopedic Surgery Hospital (MiOSH) in Madison Heights, to the physical and occupational therapy delivered at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).

“This was honestly my first DMC (Detroit Medical Center) experience, and I credit the physicians (especially Drs. Lawrence Diebel, Rahul Vaidya and Pano Papalekas), nurses and therapists I encountered at each DMC facility with both saving my life and restoring my health,” said Judge Longo.

gallowaycollens1“The one piece of advice I can give to folks after this is to never ignore a scratch or cut to your skin – no matter how minor!  Get some anti-bacterial lotion or cream on it immediately,”  Judge Longo emphasized.

Judge Longo’s illness was, unbelievably, the result of an infection caused by a scratch on his arm he received doing some yard work in mid-October.  The initially undetected infection progressed into sepsis, endangering both Judge Longo’s arm as well as his life.  In addition to the injury to his arm, ultimately requiring five operations to remove affected tissue and wash out the wound, the sepsis caused multiple organ failure.  Most notably, Judge Longo experienced acute renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome, requiring kidney dialysis and placement on a ventilator.   He underwent multiple bronchoscopies for pneumonia and was treated with a very aggressive course of antibiotics.

“My wife Cathy told me, in the beginning of all this, everyone just kept telling her I was “very, very sick”.  waterworkAfter eight weeks in intensive care at Harper University and Detroit Receiving hospitals and four weeks at RIM, Judge Longo returned home in mid-January (and to the office part-time), and embarked upon a course of outpatient physical and occupational therapy to continue strengthening muscles weakened by the sepsis. A full recovery is thankfully expected.

Throughout this time, Judge Longo assured the 43rd District Court functioned well in his absence.  “I have to thank my team at the 43rd District Court, my judicial colleagues Judges Charles Goedert and Keith Hunt, and the visiting judges who covered my dockets. All stepped in where needed to assure the Court functioned in my absence.  I also need to thank my family who has been at my side through this entire ordeal.”

“It is particularly fitting that my “official” day back full time is on St. Joseph’s Day – my namesake and the patron saint of workers.  This day has long reminded me of the strength of sidebar01sponsormy own faith and the fact I can officially return on this day has reinforced the faith I have in the power of prayer. I will be forever grateful to all those across the community who offered good thoughts and prayers for my recovery.  While I definitely would choose never to repeat this experience, it has been profoundly humbling to experience the support and care from so many.  I am returning to the bench stronger because so many made sure that could happen.  I will never be able to adequately express my thanks for making sure I can return full time to the work I love.”

On October 2, less than two weeks before the near-fatal scratch, Longo was on hand to break ground on the City’s remodeling of the Courthouse.  Read about the changes being made, and watch Longo speak about the project at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2013/10/02/courthouse-remodel-gets-official-groundbreaking-video/.  Cases continue to be held in the Ferndale City Hall Council Chambers until the project is complete.

Here is video from the groundbreaking:

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