Port Jefferson Resident’s Journey From Car Collision to Recovery


Last April, Norman Harjus, an IT manager at a healthcare organization, was in a severe automobile accident in Lake Grove.

Harjus, 56, was driving by the Smith Haven Mall when he collided with another vehicle. Due to the glaring sun, he wasn’t able to get a clear view, which caused him to crash.

“Sun glare caused me to have a rear end accident into a flatbed truck,” Harjus said. “I was driving east into the sun and I was sitting in my lane a little bit while he was trying to turn and I didn’t see him.”

When the accident occurred he broke several bones in his body including his ankles, wrists and collarbone. He was treated at the Stony Brook Hospital.

“My ankle was broken in three places and dislocated, my other foot was broken, my wrists was broken on my right arm, I broke somewhere between five or seven ribs,” Harjus said. “The doctor never actually picked a number. I’ve spent 12 days in the trauma ward in Stony Brook and then I was transferred to Luxor.”

After his treatment at the hospital, Harjus was transferred to the Luxor Mills Pond. He spent seven weeks in physical therapy. The experience was challenging, but the results were met.

“When I was at the Luxor my gallbladder ruptured and they had to take me back to Stony Brook for emergency surgery,” he said. “But, as far as the Luxor goes my physical therapist and occupational therapist were just unbelievable. I still keep in touch with both of them.”

Harjus was released from Luxor Mills Pond on June 16. He continues his physical therapy at St. Charles for his ankles and occupational therapy for his wrists.

“I have a new appreciation for life and how quickly things can change,” he said. “I think you have to appreciate the moment. I have a greater appreciation for healthcare workers. Between Stony Brook, the Luxor, and St. Charles I think they are some heroes.”

Norman Harius is just one example of how people’s lives can change in a minute, but can result in a new appreciation for life.

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