Sequim's Schaafsma slowly recovering

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM — Sequim civic leader Tom Schaafsma remained in critical condition Monday in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. But his family said he is showing signs of recovery from injuries sustained while being crushed beneath an overturned tractor.

Schaafsma, a well-known North Olympic Peninsula humanitarian, has had his breathing tube and a chest tube removed, but his respiratory system is still fragile because of broken ribs, wrote wife Jacque Schaafsma on a family blog, which can be accessed at

“Medical staff are watching that carefully and we pray that he will be able to remain off the ventilator,” Jacque wrote.

Schaafsma was flown to the Seattle trauma care center after a tractor rolled over and trapped him as he and his son were removing a tree on the Schaafsmas' Holleman Way property Friday.

Because Schaafsma was deprived of oxygen for nearly 10 minutes as he lay under the tractor, doctors and the family have been concerned about brain function.

Family members said they were encouraged by small signs of recovery Monday morning.

“The best moment of the day was after the tube was removed, I came and took his hand and told him how good he looked. To that he turned my way and smiled,” Jacque wrote.

Schaafsma, 63, suffered partially collapsed lungs and 10 broken ribs.

Friends of the family are asked not to call the hospital, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Schaafsma, a semiretired carpenter, is a 2009 Clallam County Community Service Award recipient and Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

The longtime member of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club has raised funds for $1,000 disaster relief kits, and traveled the world delivering and setting up Rotary ShelterBox relief tents that provide temporary housing for disaster victims.

He has traveled to Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Japan and Kenya as part of Rotary relief teams.

Schaafsma also has helped with construction projects at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, the Sequim Food Bank, Sequim Community School and Olympic Theatre Arts.

The family has hosted six exchange students, and he has volunteered with the Clallam County Juvenile Diversion Board.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Last modified: October 16. 2012 1:40AM
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