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In the spirit of the season, send good thoughts to a fellow Cougar

One of the students who should have graduated Saturday did not get to walk at commencement. Tom Nienaber, a former R.A., was in his apartment

Thursday evening (Dec. 17) after completing his final exam. In an apparent natural gas explosion/flash fire he was severely burned and is currently in Hermann Hospital's Burn Unit, where he had his first major surgery today.

He has third-degree burns on both arms and hands, as well as second-degree burns on his face, neck, shoulders and back. Today the doctors began grafting skin from his legs to his right arm in an effort to help it heal. He was to begin a career with Granger Corporation in a few weeks. The doctors hope that he will eventually regain use of his hands, but it will be a long recovery process.

My name is Laura Vencill. I am his only sibling, and I live in northern Indiana with my husband and three children. I hope that his classmates and professors will join our family in prayer for him. I know that he loved being a student there at UH and was going to miss the campus life and experiences as well as the people.

Laura Vencill

Last update:
http://www.stp.uh.edu/bn9899/12-23/oped/letters.html

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