Ron and Beth Skulas have a lot to smile about after Ron's improbable journey back from a horrific injury.
SYLVANIA, Ohio - As Myron "Ron" Skulas prepared to scale the old TV antenna adjacent to his Sylvania Township home, he gave little thought to any potential danger. After all, he'd climbed the tower a hundred times or more, he figured, without incident.
This day, Nov. 17, 2007, a Thursday, was different. As he worked his way toward the roof, where leaf-clogged gutters awaited, the tower, rusted at its base, snapped, sending the 285-pound Skulas crashing to the ground, beneath the fallen antenna.
Skulas, retired Army with a wry wit, remembers his first words: "I'm not dead. That's good. Where's my glasses?"
The glasses were within an arm's reach. Skulas fetched them, wriggled out from under the antenna and crawled into the house, where he dialed 911. At Toledo Hospital, doctors diagnosed a lumbar fracture - painful and problematic, but not life-threatening. Skulas was admitted but expected to be released shortly.
Two days later, while his family watched the Ohio State-Michigan football game in his hospital room, Skulas - without warning - stopped breathing. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit and intubated. Tests revealed that a large clot, known as a saddle embolism, had lodged in the area above his lungs, and that other, smaller clots had formed nearby. His condition quickly turned grave.
As Skulas later recalled: "That's when things went from bad to really bad."