After spending more than two weeks in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at the Albany Medical Center, a Westhampton man badly injured in an assault earlier this month is walking and talking.
Tyler Giancola, 21, has been moved to a standard hospital room and was able to walk around with the assistance of a physical therapist, according to Paul Haines, a friend of Mr. Giancola’s family.
The young man even flexed his humor muscle: on Monday, after being asked if he’d watched the Dallas Cowboys game the previous afternoon, the devout New York Giants fan said, “No, I’d rather watch football,” Mr. Haines, a Cowboys’ fan, recalled.
“That’s Tyler,” Mr. Haines said. “He’s always been quick.”
Mr. Giancola was assaulted during the early morning hours of Sunday, September 14, after he and a group of friends got into a verbal dispute with another group of young men in Oneonta, where Mr. Giancola attends college at the local SUNY campus.
The altercation turned physical when Mr. Giancola was punched in the face by one of the other men—18-year-old Joseph P. Schof, according to Oneonta City Police—and then hit his head on the cement. Mr. Giancola had spent much of his hospital stay under sedation and on a ventilator. Mr. Schof was charged with second-degree assault, a felony.
Now that he’s off the ventilator and conscious, Mr. Giancola has only a few more issues to work out before he can be released into an outpatient rehabilitation program, Mr. Haines said.
Mr. Giancola’s parents—Dan Giancola and Beth Flanagan—have been at his side since his hospitalization nearly three weeks ago.
Family friends have started the “Friends of Tyler Giancola” account at Bridgehampton National Bank in Westhampton Beach for those interested in making donations to help offset the family’s travel and lodging expenses. Mr. Haines said donations are still being sought.