NEWTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Some studies suggest gratitude can be good for your overall wellness such as improving your heart health, reducing aches and pains and even providing better sleep. But a Lackawanna County grade school student’s gratitude goes way beyond all that.
On a week where as a nation we all give thanks, it’s what a Newton Township boy is thankful for that’s making quite an impression as Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller explains.
“She asked us to write what we were thankful for,” said 8-year-old Mason Baker while wearing the Thanksgiving art project his teacher asked him and his second grade classmates at Newton-Ransom Elementary School to make. Writing messages of thanks on feathers made of colorful construction paper, Mason expressed gratitude for his PlayStation and his parents. But on the third feather, he needed a little spelling help for what made him thankful. “The teacher told me how to.” That word he wrote was Geisinger.
When asked why he was thankful for Geisinger, Mason said “Because it saved my dad’s life.”
Mason’s dad, 39-year-old Anthony Turco, was in a horrific crash in September slamming the pickup truck he was driving into the rear of a tractor trailer on Interstate 84 in Jefferson Township. “He had life-threatening injuries,” said Geisinger Trauma Surgeon Akram Alashari, MD.
Dr. Alashari and a team of Geisinger medical doctors and support staff treated Mason’s father for numerous injuries including a torn aorta, nine broken ribs and a shattered pelvis and hip. “We were lucky enough to catch him in time and stabilize him and take good care of him,” said Dr. Alashari.
Two months later, Anthony Turco is on the mend. “Even today I look at the picture of the truck and I’m like how did I even, how did I come out of that,” he said. Mr. Turco faces a long road to recovery. He continues healing at home with his fiancee and three children and is also grateful for Geisinger. “The team of surgeons I had… they’re the dream team. I mean I couldn’t be any luckier.”
It’s a message of gratitude spelled with a capital G. Dr. Alashari said, “It felt so good to really see that we had a really good impact on his life and had a good outcome and now Anthony is back with his kids.”
Mr. Turco will continue physical therapy for several more months. He also hopes to resume playing guitar next spring for the local band “Fuzz Bucket”. Mason says he will also be thankful when his dad’s broken wrist heals so that they can play video games together.