A 2006 graduate died at GW Hospital Wednesday after falling in McFadden’s Saloon. Twenty-five-year-old Jon Lucks suffered severe head trauma after falling, according to witness and medical examiner reports.
At around 2 a.m., Lucks was drinking in the bar located at 24th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue when he stumbled and fell to the floor. Witnesses said Lucks, who has a condition called spina bifida, was unconscious but still alive. Spina bifida is a spinal defect that paralyzed him from the waist down. Lucks used arm and leg braces to increase his mobility.
“One of my friends said ‘This kid just fell,’ so I went over to him and he was on the ground,” senior Josh Scheinerman said. “I’m a student scribe in the ER and with my knowledge I took his pulse, which was normal. His eyes were open and he was breathing, but he was unconscious.”
Scheinerman said one of Lucks’ leg braces was bent, indicating it was a hard fall. “No one around really knew him or saw him fall to the ground,” he said.
Ten minutes later, paramedics arrived and placed a tube in Lucks’ trachea to help him breath. He was taken to GW Hospital, where he was kept alive until his parents arrived from Pennsylvania later that night.
“I didn’t think that he was going to die,” Scheinerman said. “I couldn’t have thought that then. For the most part his pulse was steady and he was breathing okay. I guess when the paramedics got there his breathing slowed or changed for the worse.”
Lucks’ father Michael said doctors at GW Hospital told him his son’s cause of death was neurogenic pulmonary edema, a common and often undiagnosed clinical entity that can occur after many forms of injury to the central nervous system. Other details about the cause of death are still unclear.
A funeral will be held at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church today in Paoli, Pa.
-Jessica Calefati and Eric Roper contributed to this report