AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Ed Slattery visited Akron Children’s Hospital nearly a decade after a tragic car crash on the Ohio Turnpike to sign copies of his new book, “The Long Blink”.
“Coming back here [the hospital] brings tragic memories that are painful, but I find that when I confront them it relieves the pain a little bit,” the 63-year-old said.
On Aug. 16, 2010, Slattery’s wife, Susan, and his two sons, Peter and Matthew, were in a car on the Ohio Turnpike in Portage County when a truck struck them from behind. Susan died in the crash, while Matthew was treated at Akron Children’s Hospital after suffering cerebral damage. He is now confined to a wheelchair.
“5,000 families a year suffer 100 percent of the cost,” Ed said. “That’s not fair, and I pray it’s never your family.”
Today, Slattery returned to the hospital to sign copies of his new book, which was written by Brian Klueber. Klueber, who covered Slattery’s story for years as a reporter, has admired his determination.
“Even through intense trauma, where you lose the love of your life — his two children are never going to be the same — you can use that energy to channel it in order to find a purpose in it all,” he said.
Slattery also reunited with some of the doctors and medical staff that cared for Matthew while in the hospital. Slattery was thankful for their work and care for his son.
“One thing I could say the Akron doctors never stole from us was hope,” he explained.
Slattery says the release of the book is not the end of his journey, but he still has closure over the truck crash and the one responsible for it: Douglas Bouch, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
“I forgive the driver that did this,” he said. “He doesn’t take responsibility for having done it, but when he does he can then forgive himself.”