Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin Commissioner Bujalski injured in boating accident

DUNEDIN — A city commissioner was in serious condition Monday at Mease Dunedin Hospital after what her husband called a "freak" boating accident on Mother's Day.

Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski wanted to spend the day with her husband and son so the family rented a boat Sunday, said Tom Bujalski.

The family was riding down the Intracoastal Waterway on their way to Caladesi Island for lunch around noon Sunday when the boat went over the wake of another boat.

"When she bounced up and came down on the seat, she landed wrong and fractured the L1 vertebra in her back, which is in the lower back, right at the end of the spinal cord," Tom Bujalski said. "She can't move. She is pretty much immobilized."

Bujalski said he drove the boat in to the nearby Dunedin Marina and called paramedics.

"She has feeling in her legs and fingers but can't move because of the cracked vertebra," he said. "It's basically bone on bone and she's on heavy pain meds."

Julie Bujalski, 44, will undergo a kyphoplasty today.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat painful, progressive vertebral compression fractures.

Tom Bujalski said his wife could be out of the hospital as early as Thursday.

"The surgery gives height back and glues the vertebra back together," he said. "With physical therapy, she will be functional and able to walk around."

It's been a tough few months for Commissioner Julie Bujalski. She buried her father April 21 and her mother May 1, her husband said.

Lifelong friend Susan Fallon and her family were on the boat Sunday afternoon with the Bujalskis. She said that up until the accident, "it was a magical day."

Fallon, a Holiday resident, said five minutes before encountering the wake, she and Bujalski looked at each other and said, "This is the best Mother's Day I've ever had."

Reach Demorris A. Lee at dalee@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4174.

Dunedin Commissioner Bujalski injured in boating accident 05/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement
  2. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  3. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  4. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark

    National

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    From left, Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director, introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair; and Neil Brown, Tampa Bay Times editor and vice president, at the Poynter Institute on Tuesday.
  5. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda

    Politics

    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.