SEASIDE HEIGHTS - A man who lost his home to Superstorm Sandy was dealt a double blow when debris from the storm left him unable to walk.
Geoffrey Meads was body surfing with his granddaughter at the Blaine Avenue Beach in Seaside Heights when he was struck in the head by a massive 4-by-12 piece of wood.
The 52-year-old believes the wood was a support beam from the old Casino Pier destroyed by Sandy.
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"When it hit me, it knocked my head back and fractured two vertebrae and put bone chips on my spinal cord," Meads says.
Meads, known as "Waldo" to family and friends, lived in shelters with his wife, Dorothy, after Sandy. He just moved back to Seaside Heights in March. The incident has taken its toll on the entire family.
"We love the water - that's why we live here. I won't go back in," Meads says. "And my grandkids are scared to death to go back in after what happened."
Meads says he will continue using a wheelchair and a walker until he regains full use of his legs. He'll also need surgery, but knows he's lucky to be alive.