Schaafsma recovers, comes home

Family helping with former Citizen of the Year’s rehab following tractor accident

Sequim Gazette staff

Tom Schaafsma, 64, is back in Sequim as of Thursday, Oct. 25.


Doctors told him he was recuperating well and he could receive the same level of care at home as at the hospital, his wife Jacque said.


“He was anxious to get home,” she said.


Schaafsma accidentally flipped a tractor onto himself while pulling a tree from the ground behind his home on Oct. 12. He’s been recovering from 10 broken ribs and two partially collapsed lungs at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.


At home, Schaafsma went from using a walker to a cane in a day and went for a walk with his son Ryan, who witnessed the ordeal, to the site of the accident.


Jacque said Tom doesn’t need home health care, and she and her daughter Lenelle, both occupational therapists, will help with his treatment in addition to some outpatient treatment. Ryan will stay for a period of time to help the family, too.


“Tom is making slow progress and exhibits his happy smile even when I know it hurts,” Jacque said.


“He’s eager to get up and moving more and we are eager for that, too.”


His family, including his four children, have been by his side through treatment and this past weekend they picked and pressed apples in the backyard. Friends continue to bring meals and treats to the family.


Jacque plans to continue updating the family’s blog on Tom’s progress, although less frequently, at


Schaafsma was Sequim’s 2009 Citizen of the Year, and contributed to community and worldwide programs such as ShelterBox USA Response Team, Sequim Sunrise Rotary and many more.