Letter: Trees planted in sidewalk are a danger

I would like to thank the JP Gazette for printing Sandra Storey’s article on the effects of planting trees in sidewalks. I unfortunately did trip on a raised sidewalk (due to tree roots) in JP Center and my upper right arm fell against the tree trunk as the rest of my body hit the ground. The result: a compound fracture of my humerus that is still healing since February. Worst of all, I was carrying my 6-month-old grandson in a front baby carrier. Luckily, I was able to twist just enough to spare his head smashing into the sidewalk. I am extremely lucky that he was not hurt but I would like to help others not have to suffer through what I am experiencing.

After four months in a brace around my arm and chest, I began physical therapy. My upper arm has no mobility and no muscle strength but I am regaining use of my elbow. The injury impacted ligaments, tendons, nerves, bone and muscles from my fingertips to my shoulder. The physical injury coupled with the inability to watch my grandchildren and perform everyday activities such as showering, eating with my right hand, dressing, driving, and even sleeping, reduced my lifestyle to dependence and constant pain. It will take at least one year of physical therapy to regain functional use of my arm.

Again, I am grateful that my grandson was unhurt and that is the most important factor that keeps me going. However, I feel that no one should have to suffer such severe injuries that are preventable.  Trees should not be planted in sidewalks!  Our home is surrounded by trees.  We value sitting on our deck, watching the movement of the leaves in the breeze, listening to the birds in the branches.  Trees enhance our home but trees do not belong in sidewalks. Thank you Sandra Storey for pointing out to readers how dangerous it is to place trees where pedestrians walk.

Sally Dean

Jamaica Plain resident

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