Andrew Maynard returns to State Senate after debilitating injury
HARTFORD–Opening day at the state legislature welcomed a lot of new faces, and many old ones.
With friends and family at his side, and for the first time since a serious accident, state Sen. Andrew Maynard (D – Stonington) returned to the Senate chamber and was sworn-in for a new, two-year term.
Many of his colleagues were surprised to see him at the swearing-in ceremony after his debilitating fall over the summer, and he was welcomed to the floor with a standing ovation.
Denise Mahoney, Maynard’s sister, said of his return and recovery:
Andy insisted that he return to the senate circle and join his colleagues in taking the oath of office. The rate of his recovery from his injuries has been nothing short of remarkable. The family would like to thank all of his friends and well-wishers. They have been with him every step of the way throughout his recovery and their continued love and support will sustain him as he continues to recover. We also want to thank the doctors, nurses and therapists at Rhode Island Hospital and the Hospital for Special Care for the excellent treatment and care they provided. Andy wants to express his gratitude to the voters of the 18th district. He is committed to working on your behalf in the coming year. Your faith in him reminds us again of the uncommon opportunity he’s been given to serve the region, the enormous kindness that he has received from you, and the great debt that he owes in return.
This past July, Maynard fell on an outside staircase at his Stonington home, causing serious physical injuries and a traumatic brain injury. The recovery process has taken time, but Maynard has made great strides: he is currently undergoing physical and occupational therapy to work on his balance, strengthen his right arm and refine the use of his right hand.
Although Maynard continued to go through extensive therapy, fellow senators on both sides of the aisle said they’re confident he can fulfill his duties. “At times all of us have little health issues, and he’s at this point, he’s at the tail end of recovery,” Sen. Paul Doyle (D) said.
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R) also gave his vote of confidence. “As far as following conversation, understanding what was going on, there’s not a doubt in my mind that he was at that level.”
Some critics have questioned Maynard’s motivation for his 5th term, saying that health benefits were the real reason. In addition to his physical and brain injuries, the accident has left the Senator with aphasia when it comes to his speech.
While he can process language and understand others, the condition impairs his ability to speak. As part of his ongoing recovery he is working with a speech therapist. Although he is making great progress, he currently has some difficulty retrieving words and names.
Fasano stood by Maynard, saying that the health benefits wouldn’t necessarily be a concern even if he couldn’t return to service because he would support a bill to extend those benefits.
Sen. Maynard looks forward to working with his senate colleagues and resuming a full schedule on behalf of all the constituents of the 18th district as soon as he is able. Sen. Maynard’s office will continue to operate in its full capacity as it has since the accident in July.
Sen. Maynard will serve as the Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee and as a member of the Internship and Program Review and Investigations Committees.