Mastic veteran returns home after 7 months in the hospital

Billy and Vivian Teemsma spent nearly $200,000 of their own money to make their home more accessible.

Joe Arena

May 20, 2023, 3:00 AM

Updated 337 days ago

Share:

A Mastic veteran is back home after spending months in a hospital.
Bill Teemsma went into the hospital last fall in late October to have surgery for an aortic aneurysm, a procedure that he was told could possibly leave him paralyzed. About a day after the surgery, Teemsma woke up to learn that he was paralyzed.
"I got through it," Teemsma said. "There were three choices - either everything was gonna be hunky-dory or what I have now or death, so I went for door No. 2."
His recovery required six months of rehab at a VA hospital in the Bronx with other health setbacks that kept him away from his family.
Teemsma's wife, Vivian Teemsma, spent that time working to turn their home into a place that would be more accessibly for her husband.
In order to do this, they had to drain their 401K and all of their savings.
"Your priorities change now, it's like now that' he's home, getting used to being home, getting used to all the doctors and the nurses being here because he's not mobile yet," Vivian Teemsma says.
Bill and Vivian Teemsma spent nearly $200,000 of their own money, but the VA donated an elevator to help the veteran get in and out of the home.
The Teemsma family is still hoping to buy an accessible van. If you would like to help them, you can donate to their GoFundMe.


More from News 12
1:56
Authorities: Nassau County police officer attacked by 2 men, pit bull in East Rockaway

Authorities: Nassau County police officer attacked by 2 men, pit bull in East Rockaway

1:19
Sunny start before cloudy Sunday afternoon for Long Island

Sunny start before cloudy Sunday afternoon for Long Island

0:36
Southampton police: Man arrested in Riverside machete attack that injured 24-year-old

Southampton police: Man arrested in Riverside machete attack that injured 24-year-old

1:10
Lawmakers in Albany pass $237 billion state budget, restore school funding

Lawmakers in Albany pass $237 billion state budget, restore school funding

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Andersen, Noesen help Hurricanes push past Islanders 3-1 to open 1st-round NHL playoff series

Andersen, Noesen help Hurricanes push past Islanders 3-1 to open 1st-round NHL playoff series

0:42
'A Dream Prom Boutique' ensures Nassau high schoolers have prom of their dreams

'A Dream Prom Boutique' ensures Nassau high schoolers have prom of their dreams

0:43
Huntington’s Blue Line Deli & Bagels gives away free bagels to customers ahead of Islanders postseason

Huntington’s Blue Line Deli & Bagels gives away free bagels to customers ahead of Islanders postseason

0:18
Car crashes into back of oil truck in Long Beach

Car crashes into back of oil truck in Long Beach

0:19
Authorities: RV catches fire at park in Shirley

Authorities: RV catches fire at park in Shirley

0:28
Police: Levittown woman arrested for driving drunk with 2 children in vehicle

Police: Levittown woman arrested for driving drunk with 2 children in vehicle

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

2:05
Long Island native ID’d as person who set himself on fire outside Trump trial in Manhattan

Long Island native ID’d as person who set himself on fire outside Trump trial in Manhattan

0:37
Officials: Wildlife rehabilitator took raccoons into her Merrick home without required rabies license

Officials: Wildlife rehabilitator took raccoons into her Merrick home without required rabies license

1:42
FBI on alert as Jewish Long Islanders prepare to celebrate Passover

FBI on alert as Jewish Long Islanders prepare to celebrate Passover

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

1:46
Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer’s defense attorney demands information on other ‘top suspect’

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer’s defense attorney demands information on other ‘top suspect’

Is your mom awesome? Long Island tell us why your Mom Rocks!

Is your mom awesome? Long Island tell us why your Mom Rocks!

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12