Fr. Thom Meehan recovering after two strokes

Chris Ayres

Theology teacher is grateful for prayers and support from the school community.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]To send well wishes:

Fr. Thom Meehan, O.S.A.

St. Thomas Monastery

800 E. Lancaster Ave.

Villanova PA 19085 [/perfectpullquote]

On January 23, Fr. Thom Meehan, O.S.A. woke up unable to get out of his bed. He soon realized that something was very wrong and contacted Director of Mission and Ministry, Fr. Chris Drennen, O.S.A..

“He said he could not move his leg, and it was so weak that he was afraid he was going to fall,” Drennen said. “He had gotten himself dressed but that was all he could do.”

Drennen presumed from seeing Fr. Thom that it was a stroke.

“As soon as I saw him I could see that his face was drooping and his left hand was really weak,” Drennen said. “I called 911 immediately and they rushed him to Paoli Hospital.”

Other faculty members and students heard the news and wanted to know how he was doing.

“People were very concerned and they have been really supportive,” Drennen said. “A couple of people have come to visit, some students, some teachers, and all of the Friars.”

Drennen also said that it was difficult being in the Friary without him.

“We just missed him and it was tough not having him because he usually is not gone a lot,” Drennen said. “He is pretty much home every night, so we missed not having him at dinner and for prayer.”

Fortunately, Fr. Thom has been receiving the help he needs. According to Drennen, he spent several weeks at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, working hard with physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Drennen picked Fr. Thom up from Bryn Mawr Rehab on February 13 and brought him back to campus. However, Head of School Fr. Don Reilly informed the faculty via email on February 19 that Meehan would be continuing his recuperation at St. Thomas Monastery on the campus of Villanova University.

In the short term, four Malvern teachers stepped in to teach Meehan’s ninth grade Biblical Studies classes during his time of absence. “Father Cassidy, Mr. Zagursky, Mr. Legner, and myself filled in,” Drennen said. “Everyone took a little extra to help out.”

Upon Reilly’s transition to St. Thomas Monastery, Mrs. Metty Vithayathil took on Meehan’s classes as a longer term substitute. Vithayathil previously subbed for theology teacher Mr. Alex Haynie during his paternity leave earlier this school year.

Father Thom hasn’t been able to talk to a lot of students, but is thankful for all of the support he has received.

“He is really grateful and thankful for all the prayers, cards, and letters that people have sent,” Drennen said. “I think he is really touched by how much people care about him.”