Lone Sago Mine Survivor Released From Hospital - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/30/06-Morgantown, West Virginia

Lone Sago Mine Survivor Released From Hospital

Randy McCloy, the only survivor of a January accident that killed 12 coal miners, left a Morgantown, West Virginia, hospital Thursday to recover at his home on newly named Miracle Road.

"I would just like to thank everybody for their thoughts and prayers," he said softly before leaving the hospital with his wife, son and brother-in-law for his home in Simpson.

Anna McCloy thanked the doctors who treated her husband after he was pulled from the Sago Mine barely alive.

"Our family is glad to be going home," she said. "Today is another part of our miracle, just three months after the accident. However, there are 12 families who are in our thoughts and prayers today and every day."

At the hospital, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin also announced that the street leading to McCloy's house is being renamed Miracle Road and presented him with a green sign bearing the name.

"West Virginia does believe in miracles," Manchin said.

Randy McCloy, 26, and 12 other miners were trapped underground after an explosion in the Sago Mine near Tallmansville.

The other miners died in the explosion or from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to The Associated Press, McCloy said Wednesday that was still mystified as to how he was the only man to survive the blast and will try to forget those hours after the accident.

"I try to leave out all the gory details and stuff like that because I don't like to look at them in that light and that way," he told the AP. "I just like to picture them saved and in heaven, stuff like that.

"That's really the best way you can remember somebody."

He also told the AP he was quitting the mines.

"No, I done learned my lesson," he told the AP. "The hard way."

McCloy, who was rescued after 41 hours, was in a coma for weeks and suffered serious organ damage.

His doctors agreed they never expected such a quick recovery from the damage to his brain, liver, kidneys, heart and lungs caused by oxygen deprivation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dr. Larry Roberts, head of the trauma unit at Ruby Memorial Hospital where the miner was first treated after the accident, said McCloy had exceeded expectations in his recovery.

Another one of the doctors said he was optimistic about McCloy's future.

"I think he's a got a great potential for a complete, possibly complete, recovery," said neurologist Julian Bailes, who suggested "genetic individual variability" might help explain McCloy's survival.

Bailes also cited other factors, including that McCloy was about 1,000 feet away from the miners who perished and was "in better air."

McCloy will get therapy on an outpatient basis several times a week, said Dr. Russell Biundo, who treated the patient at HealthSouth Mountainview Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Morgantown. The sessions will mostly be "mental gymnastics" focusing on thinking skills and speech, Biundo said.

"He's not normal, and he'll tell you that," the physician said.

Bailes said the damage to McCloy's brain may be reversible.

McCloy had difficulty walking into the briefing room, needing help from brother-in-law Rick McGee.

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