Former engineer injured in accident recovers

Apr 18, 2020 by Triton Staff

UPDATE: April 17, 2020

More than 14 months after a serious motorcycle accident, former yacht Engr. Thomas “Bourke” Cannon has made a near complete recovery.

Cannon had five surgeries as a result of his accident at the end of January 2019, including a cranioplasty to fix a skull defect. He also had a broken neck along three vertebrae, a broken left shoulder, and a traumatic brain injury. He spent four weeks in a rehabilitation hospital as well as a 12-week cognitive program where he worked with therapists to improve memory, multitasking and functional skills, according to a post from his wife, Justine.

They shared this video with the hundreds of family and friends who helped contribute to his recovery.

By Dorie Cox

UPDATE Feb. 20, 2019

Former yacht Engr. Thomas “Bourke” Cannon is in a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, after the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a car in the Dominican Republic.

Cannon, 32, was headed to survey the 178-foot (54m) R/V Pacific Hope when the accident occurred on Jan. 26, said long-time colleague and friend Capt. Marvin Wilson. He was there to complete his first marine survey after completing school for in December, according to an online post.

After the accident, he was rushed to an emergency room where a CT scan was performed, and he was immediately taken into surgery to alleviate the swelling on his brain, the post stated. The surgery was successful in decreasing the swelling, but the neurosurgeon discovered he also suffered from a fractured skull. This lead the doctors to sedate him for several days to allow his brain to heal.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Cannon and his wife, Justine, live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Justine and Cannon’s sister-in-law, a nurse, flew to DR to be with him at the hospital.

Cannon was later evacuated to a hospital in the United States. Upon his arrival at University of Florida Health, the trauma team discovered he also suffered a fractured spine when he was hit by the car. He underwent an anterior spine surgery on the afternoon of Feb. 2 and a posterior spine surgery on Feb. 6. In late February, Cannon had been discharged from the intensive care unit and was transferred to physical therapy, according to Capt. Wilson.

Cannon became a yacht surveyor after about nine years in yachting. He started as a deckhand in his teens with Capt. Wilson and worked his way up to engineer. His work history includes M/Y Africa, the 148-foot (45m) Sunrise Yacht and M/Y Pegasus V, the 258-foot (86m) Royal Denship.

Lots of friends and family are praying for his recovery and look forward to seeing him doing what he loves, Capt. Wilson said.

“He loves fishing,” Capt. Wilson said. “He holds two world records in billfishing and most recently worked on sportfish boats. Fishing is his passion; engineering is what he does. I can’t wait for him to recover, I’m ready to go fishing with him.”

Cannon’s wife posted wishes for continued support on the GoFundMe.com created by family and friends.

“Bourke is the strongest man I know, and I’m lucky that I get to call him my husband,” she wrote. “I don’t know anyone else who could endure the pain of three major surgeries in 11 days and continue to fight every single step of the way.”

Nearly 700 people have contributed to help toward expenses at a GoFundMe.com page online. To see it, search Get Bourke Home.

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

ORIGINAL POST: Jan. 29

Former yacht Engr. Thomas “Bourke” Cannon is in a hospital in the Dominican Republic after the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a car.

Cannon, 32, was headed to survey the 178-foot (54m) R/V Pacific Hope when the accident occured, said long-time colleague and friend Capt. Marvin Wilson. Cannon is under sedation after surgery to reduce swelling on his brain.

“The doctors hope to stabilize him to Medevac him home,” Capt. Wilson said by phone. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Cannon and his wife, Justine, live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Justine and Cannon’s sister-in-law, a nurse, are with him at the hospital.

Cannon had recently became a yacht surveyor after about nine years in yachting. He started as a deckhand in his teens with Capt. Wilson and worked his way up to engineer. His work history includes M/Y Africa, the 148-foot (45m) Sunrise Yacht, and M/Y Pegasus V, the 258-foot (86m) Royal Denship.

Lots of friends and family are praying for his recovery and look forward to seeing him doing what he loves, Capt. Wilson said.

“He loves fishing,” Capt. Wilson said. “He holds two world records in billfishing and most recently worked on sportfish boats. Fishing is his passion; engineering is what he does.”

More than 250 people have contributed to help toward expenses at a GoFundMe page online.

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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