Terry Cronin always tries to look at the bright side. And he still has his sense of humor, despite having major portions of his feet amputated after a horrific workplace accident in …
Terry Cronin always tries to look at the bright side. And he still has his sense of humor, despite having major portions of his feet amputated after a horrific workplace accident in August.
“I can get into narrow shoes now,” he quipped this week.
Cronin was electrocuted with 19,000 volts while drilling a well. The jolt traveled through his body and exited through his feet, causing severe second- and third-degree burns to his leg and feet. The electrical charge burned him from the inside, out, burning his bones and forcing more than a third of each of his feet to be removed, his wife Jan Cronin said.
“It’s just amazing it didn’t hit his heart,” she said. “He miraculously had no internal injuries to his organs.”
Cronin has already been through three major surgeries and could be facing yet another as an infection threatens more damage. He has been receiving treatment in Greeley, Colorado, at the Western States Burn Center.
He will be fitted with prosthetics sometime in the future, but is looking at more than a year of rehabilitation and further treatments.
“He won’t be in ski boots this winter,” Jan said. “His life will be very different.”
Cronin has been a volunteer for the Eagle Mount adaptive ski program for people with disabilities and injured veterans for the past three decades. He is also the director of Powell’s Christmas Basket program, which helps feed and buy gifts for families who otherwise couldn’t afford to celebrate Christmas.
The Cronins — along with Howard and Ann Sanders, Donna Putney and Mike Giese — took over the charity from Dave Blevins three years ago. Last year, Terry Cronin was at the National Guard Armory on a chilly day in his traditional shorts and flip flops directing the effort; he’s known for both his charity work and his reluctance to wear pants.
Prior to joining the annual program, Cronin paid his employees at Shoshone Valley Landscaping for six weeks to allow them to work for Sally Montoya’s holiday season charity efforts.
Terry is reportedly “going crazy” being cooped up in the hospital and will possibly undergo a future amputation of more toes. He has also received skin grafts, which have been extremely painful. “If I had known how much pain I’d have from the grafts, I wouldn’t have let them do it,” he said.
Family and friends, including daughters Keeley Cronin and Jannice Knapp, have started a GoFundMe account to help the Cronin family. The effort has raised more than $15,000 of the $75,000 goal, thanks in part to contributions from the 2021 Field of Dreams Softball Tournament.
“I didn’t think anybody knew me,” Cronin said. “But, apparently they do.”
Knapp is a trauma nurse in Colorado and has been instrumental in her father’s care, Jan said. Keeley is a lawyer in Denver. “We couldn’t make it without them,” she said.
Jan has been traveling between the hospital and home trying to keep Cronin’s business afloat and working at the Copenhaver, Kitchen & Kolpitcke law office in Powell, where she has worked for 42 years. She is very thankful for prayers and support from the community.
Hope Lutheran Church is also taking donations for those uncomfortable with online donations, according to Pastor Putney. And there is an account set up at First Bank of Wyoming for the Cronins.
To donate online, visit https://gofund.me/351cef9e.