Bryan Schuler is back home.
The 5-year-old boy whom relatives dubbed "the miracle child" is recovering at home in West Babylon after two months in hospitals. But he has "very severe head injuries" from the wrong-way collision upstate that killed his mother, younger sister, three cousins and three Yonkers men, said his family's private investigator.
"He is going through medical as well as physical therapy treatments and dealing with the medical issues that were caused by this very severe crash and his very severe head trauma and injuries," said Thomas Ruskin, president of the CMP Protective and Investigative Group in Manhattan, which is probing the crash for Bryan's family.
The July 26 accident drew nationwide attention when toxicology tests showed Bryan's mother, Diane Schuler, was drunk and high on marijuana when she drove a minivan full of young children the wrong way for 1.7 miles on the Taconic State Parkway in Westchester County.
Her family disputes the alcohol and drug findings but has yet to conduct its own tests.
Bryan's injuries, as described by Ruskin, appear to be worse than his family has previously said. On the "Larry King Live" program on Sept. 1, Daniel Schuler did not mention the head injuries, saying his son had only two broken arms and a broken leg and was expected to "make a full recovery."
Daniel Schuler and the boy's extended family declined, through Ruskin, to speak about Bryan Wednesday.
After receiving 24-hour care at Westchester Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Bayside, Queens, Bryan returned home about three to four weeks ago, Ruskin said. Bryan's father is his primary caregiver now, helped by a large extended family of grandparents, uncles and aunts, Ruskin said.
Daniel Schuler's fellow public safety officers at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration have donated so much vacation time to the grieving, single father that he will be able to look after his son until well into November, Ruskin said.
"We knew there's a 5-year-old kid who's in bad shape and just lost his mother," said Jerry Laricchiuta, president of the Civil Service Employees Association Local 830, which sent out a flier to members after the crash asking for donated vacation time. "It was a tragedy and some people stepped up."
Ruskin said: "It allows him to . . . not rush back to work after this catastrophic accident."
Daniel Schuler was upbeat about Bryan's condition recently, said Ann Scott, the owner of the Sullivan County campground where the Schulers kept a camper. He told her his son no longer was wearing casts on his arms and legs and was working with a tutor at home, Scott said.
"Danny said Bryan is happy and doing well, considering," Scott said.