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NEWS
August 7, 1986 | By Gary Miles, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thirty-five years ago, James McGowan was a 19-year-old semiprofessional baseball player whose life had taken a drastic turn. Attacked by a group of men on a Brooklyn sidewalk and stabbed in the abdomen, McGowan lost the use of his legs after surgery to repair the wound. Today, McGowan, 54, of Fort Washington, calls the incident a blessing in disguise. He says he never would have accomplished all he had if he had not experienced his disability. On Sept. 25, he will attempt another accomplishment: Although paralyzed from the middle of the chest down, McGowan will try to swim the 22-mile English Channel.
NEWS
October 3, 1986 | By FRANK DOUGHERTY, Daily News Staff Writer
There were rousing cheers at the welcome home rally held for Jim McGowan yesterday afternoon on Temple University's Berks Mall. "My doctor in Dover told me I would survive the English Channel swim, but not the welcoming home in Philadelphia," said the 54-year-old paraplegic marathon swimmer in response to a thunderous round of cheers from more than 1,000 Temple students and faculty. McGowan was treated in Dover, England, for hypothermia. But the cheers turned to jeers when Temple President Peter J. Liacouras took stage center.
NEWS
December 20, 1987 | By Dwight Ott, Inquirer Staff Writer
He sat poised on the roof. The view of New York from the high-rise hospital lay before him, broken only by the heavy clouds, the flash of lightning and the roll of thunder. He had a choice to make - to end it all here, once and for all, or turn and face what was ahead him no matter how frightening. His courage prevailed. He grabbed the wheel of his chair and yanked it back toward the roofway door - back toward his future. For Doug Heir, 27, who today lives in Cherry Hill, the decision to pull back from suicide has paid off. Last week, the U.S. Jaycees chose Heir as one of the 10 Outstanding Americans for 1987, among a group of selectees that included the first woman to travel by foot to the North Pole and a former New Orleans Saints quarterback-turned-philanthropist.
NEWS
January 23, 1987 | By DAVE RACHER, Daily News Staff Writer
A 28-year-old Montgomery County woman who filed suit against Philadelphia Electric Co., claiming one of its trucks blocked her view of traffic and caused her car to be struck by a dump truck in 1979, has won a "structured settlement" that will pay her about $2 million over her lifetime. Charmaine Nuss of Perkiomenville is a paraplegic as a result of the accident, according to her attorney, Daniel M. Preminger. The attorney said the PE repair truck was parked too close to the corner of Route 73 and Eagleville Road, near Nuss's home, when she was attempting to make a left turn onto Route 73. "My client was unable to see the dump truck coming east on Route 73 because of the parked electric company truck," said Preminger.
NEWS
February 26, 1986 | By JOE CLARK, Daily News Staff Writer
Jim McGowan plans to swim the English Channel. Backwards! But that ain't nothin'. If he makes it - and there's little doubt in his mind that he will - McGowan will be the first paraplegic to complete the historic 22-mile swim. Backwards, or forwards. But then, McGowan, a 54-year-old student studying for his master's in psychology at Temple University, has been going against the tide since that fateful night in 1951 when a member of a street gang ran a sword through his stomach on a sidewalk in Brooklyn, N.Y. "They were looking for another gang," recalled McGowan.
NEWS
May 6, 1992 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The Waterdance is a war movie about men doing battle with their bodies. They are paraplegics, recent victims of permanently disabling accidents, who find themselves helpless in a convalescent facility. In this black-comic triumph of spirit over affliction, about the only subject these diverse dudes initially can agree upon is that paraplegia beats quadriplegia. Empathically shot from the patients' perspective, The Waterdance makes you understand how surreal the world appears when you're in traction and can only look at the ceiling and the odd facial angles of orderlies bending over you. It's a movie about process and healing that examines the psychological evolution that can attend physical disability.
NEWS
September 18, 1986 | By John Corr, Inquirer Staff Writer
The man with the lifeless legs twisted himself off the rough wooden planks of the pier and into the dark, chill water. Jim McGowan - writer, athlete, skydiver, paraplegic - was getting ready for the English Channel. The Fort Washington, Pa., man, who hopes later this month to become the first paraplegic to swim the channel, had come to Maine's Casco Bay two weekends ago because the water there is cold - a few degrees colder than the 60-degree temperatures he must endure for perhaps 20 hours as he attempts to swim the 22 miles of choppy water between Dover, England, and Calais, France.
NEWS
August 19, 1994 | by Kurt Heine, Daily News Staff Writer
It was bad enough that she had divorced him - the man who had given her three daughters and 15 turbulent years. And bad enough that she had found someone else. But, according to his lawyer, it was too much for Colson Derby, the spurned ex-husband, when his youngest daughter, age 16, claimed her mom's lover had raped her. Derby, a 40-year-old paraplegic with long, jet-black hair and a full beard, cuts an imposing figure - even in the wheelchair that has been his mobility since a motorcycle vs. freight-train crack-up in 1978.
NEWS
December 18, 1998 | By Christina Asquith, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A con man who authorities say fueled a lavish lifestyle by killing and robbing a wealthy loner in North Carolina and another in Delaware pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree murder. George Kalomeris, a 42-year-old Maryland man, admitted in Sussex County Superior Court to twice trying in 1997 to kill a paraplegic Delaware man he had known previously. That case helped police solve the mysterious disappearance and slaying of a reclusive North Carolina heir two years earlier.
NEWS
June 6, 1989 | KRTN PHOTO by DAVID HANDSCHUH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Raumond Masa, 41, of the Bronx, who bills himself as Mega Man, the world's greatest stunt artist, stopped traffic for more than two hours as he dangled from the George Washington Bridge yesterday morning. A paraplegic, Masa said he did it to show the "true potential" of handicapped persons. A "support team" hoisted Masa over the parapet around 5:15 a.m. while some irate motorists shouted at police to "cut the rope. "
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NEWS
July 22, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
BRIAN LEE doesn't know how the three siblings got started fighting inside his West Philadelphia home, but everyone on the block knows how it ended. The evidence hadn't yet been washed off Filbert Street. "Every time I look over there and see the ink stain on the ground, it really bothers me," Lee said from his porch yesterday afternoon. The "ink stain" is the dried blood of his brother-in-law, John Mapp, 40, who was shot in the chest about 3:40 a.m. yesterday and stumbled out of Lee's house near 58th Street.
NEWS
February 6, 2013
By William C. Kashatus Jim McGowan had mixed emotions about Black History Month. "It's wonderful to remember the important contributions African Americans made to the United States," he'd say, "but by limiting the lessons to one month, we marginalize those contributions and remove blacks from the larger narrative of American history, where they belong year-round. " McGowan, who died in 2008 at age 76, was a historian by passion and a Renaissance man by trade. Although most people wouldn't rank him among this country's African American heroes, he was a role model for people of all races.
SPORTS
December 17, 2012 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
Several years removed from his football days in South Jersey and at Lafayette College, Ed Carter rolls his wheelchair toward his pets' cage, opens the door, and plops one of his two ferrets atop his lap, gently nuzzling and kissing the one he calls Slinky. "These guys," he said, nodding at the cage that sits in a dining room that was converted into his bedroom, "have helped me get through a lot. " For Carter, 30, a man who barely escaped death four years ago, this holiday season is special.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2008 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
This review originally appeared in coverage of the Philadelphia Film Festival. He possesses the lean face and enigmatic smile of actor Ryan Gosling, not to mention the comparable star quality. When Pvt. Tomas Young rolls down the corridors of the U.S. Senate with cane-carrying lawmaker Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.), who's 90 and a little wobbly on his feet, Young patiently steadies the senator's hand and jokes, "Both of us have kind of a hard time getting around. " Five days into his tour of duty in Iraq, the private sustained rounds from an AK-47 in his knee and shoulder, leaving him a paraplegic.
NEWS
April 25, 2008 | By Jan Hefler INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Edward G. Hagarty Jr., 59, who became an international rowing competitor after a car accident left him a paraplegic amputee, died last Friday in his Glassboro home. In the last year, he had undergone seven major operations related to his injuries, relatives said. No specific cause of death was available, but relatives said it was the cumulative effect of his condition and the operations. In 1970, Mr. Hagarty was a senior at Rutgers University-Camden and a captain of its varsity soccer team when he was hit by a motorist while pushing his disabled car on the Ben Franklin Bridge.
NEWS
April 10, 2008 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
He possesses the lean face and enigmatic smile of actor Ryan Gosling, not to mention the comparable star quality. When Pvt. Tomas Young rolls down the corridors of the U.S. Senate with cane-carrying lawmaker Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.), who's 90 and a little wobbly on his feet, Young patiently steadies the senator's hand and jokes, "Both of us have kind of a hard time getting around. " Five days into his tour of duty in Iraq, the private sustained rounds from an AK-47 in his knee and shoulder, leaving him a paraplegic.
NEWS
August 3, 2007
A 14-YEAR-OLD killed riding his bike because he didn't pedal fast enough. A 16-year-old killed for his shiny new bike. A man who dodged bullets from enemy fire while serving his country comes home for a visit, and is killed. This is the city in which I live. This is the city in which you live. Yet, no one is angry. My question is, "What will it take?" Prayer is good, but it will take more than prayer to stop a bullet. Vigils are good, but it will take more than vigils to stop a bullet.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2007 | By JACK MATHEWS New York Daily News
Pascale Ferran's version of D.H. Lawrence's once-shocking novel about lust, class and splendor in the grass is laced with odd dramatic gaps and clumsy, silent-movie-style title cards. But at its center, it has passion to spare. And in Marina Hinds, it has a radiant new star. Based on an earlier version of the book we know as "Lady Chatterley's Lover," which was written in the late 1920s, the movie may shift the focus slightly from class differences to sexual fulfillment, but it's all there - Lady Chatterley, her wealthy paraplegic husband Clifford (Hippolyte Girardot)
NEWS
June 26, 2004 | By Don Sapatkin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For four hours after daybreak on Oct. 25, Phil McGrath perched a few feet off the ground by the woods, waiting, until a doe passed behind two trees split by 5 inches of daylight. "And boom!": three shots, to the lung, leg and heart, each probably fatal. Then he waited some more. When no one passed by for a half-hour, he lowered the ramp of the van and rolled into the underbrush, his rifle balanced under his right arm and a stick in his left. "I got hung up on a log," he recalled, but he made it the 85 yards.
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