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Youngster seeks normal life
Jon Gromling and his mother, Dawn Miller, differ about Jon's desire to return to school. The 14-year-old was lying on the couch playing video games last year when
he suffered a stroke. He was flown to All Children's hospital where he had two more strokes. The family Is trying to get Jon the surgery doctors say might help his
After series ofstrokes, activity limited for Inverness Middle School eighth-grader
When you're 14, all you want is to be
That's what Jon Gromling wants -
to be normal again. Jon, an eighth-
grader the girls at Inverness Middle
School think is a hottie lives with a
time bomb inside him. That's not nor-
Jon, who currently lives in Spring
Hill, grew up in Citrus County. His
mother, Dawn Miller, works for the
Citrus County School District; she's
taking a leave of absence to be with
"It happened Feb. 10, 2004," Miller
said of the day the time bomb went off
for the first time. Gromling had stayed
home from school because of a cough,
and was playing video games.
"Around noon ... I heard a thud and
found Jon on the floor," Miller said. "I
knew he was having a stroke. His
whole right side fell and he was trying'
to pull himself up with his elbow onto
She called 911, and help came
immediately. Jon couldn't speak. At
one point he wasn't responding. They
airlifted him to All Children's
Hospital in St Petersburg.
Miller was shocked. Fourteen-year-
old boys don't have strokes. But she
knew there was a high stroke rate on
her side of the family, along with
heart disease. Her father had died of
a heart attack at age 34. Her 41-year-
old brother had a heart attack, and
her mother had surgery on both her
However, tests revealed Jon's
stroke was not genetically linked. The
doctors scheduled an "angio" test on
YOU CAN HELP
Any service club or organization
that handles pediatric neurologi-
cal cases, or anyone with
information that Jon Gromling's
family could use to pursue help
are asked call Dawn Gruzdas at
726-3548, Linda Badore at
344-0324 or Dawn Miller at
Feb. 12. It was to be a first step; maybe
they would find the problem and fix
"That's when he 'double-stroked,"'
Miller said. "They canceled the angio
and placed him under observation."
Miller returned to the Ronald
McDonald House where she was stay-
ing, and then the doctor called. "He's
taken a turn for the worse," he said.
"You better get over here."
Miller dropped to her knees.
"There he was on a stretcher, wav-
ing to us, trying to smile," she said.
"He had to go through a test, and the
doctor said there was only a 50-50
chance he would survive. We were
devastated. All of us (his dad and his
dad's girlfriend, Miller's financed, Jon's
grandmother) with our arms linked,
watching him go."
He survived the test, which
revealed a vessel on the left side of
his brain that had been opening and
closing since birth. That's the "time
bomb," the doctor said. A stroke could
happen again ... or maybe never.
A neurosurgeon at New York
Presbyterian Hospital, Saadi Ghatan,
M.D., agreed to do the needed sur-
gery. That began Miller's search for a
Please see NORMAL/Page 4A
A judge Thursday admon-
ished a Homosassa man for
ruining a chance to turn his
life around, sentencing him to
15 years in prison for violating
probation on drug charges.
Circuit Court Judge Ric
Howard ordered Patrick Allen
Rogan, 32, to
serve the 0 -Drug-new
maximum threat in
allowed, say- cities
ing, "It's sad PAGE 11.A
to see a per-
son of young age involved so
deeply in this matter."
Rogan was arrested in
September 2003 after he was
found in possession of cocaine
and a handgun. He was
already on probation at the
time of his arrest after plead-
ing guilty in 2001 to selling
"You seem to know where all
the key players are, who they
are," Howard told Rogan. "I
think you are a very, very
major drug dealer and player
in this county"
Defense attorney Jim
Cummins argued Rogan had
been working as a confidential
informant for law enforce-
ment, and that he was set up by
the same drug dealers he was
trying to set up.
"They got to him before we
could get to him," he said.
Before her son was sen-
tenced, Mary Rogan asked
Howard to show mercy, saying
that her son has done some
things, but has taken steps to
turn his life around.
"He has worked his butt off.
He's been right there getting
me along, too," she said. "I
have never seen somebody
change so much."
Rogan pleaded to stay out of
prison, saying, "I know the per-
centage of people who don't
change, but I have."
Howard said despite the
Please see MAJOR/Page 4A
Storm debris triggers city conflict A
Council delivers grounds for firing Boyer
The majority of the Crystal River
City Council voted this week to fire
City Manager Susan Boyer with
cause, and the formal grounds were
Her contract states that the coun-
cil can fire her without a stated rea-
son on a 4-1 vote and send her on her
way with a six-month separation
package. That wasn't the case
Monday night, though, when it was a
The city attorney, who was not at
the meeting, told them in an emer-
gency meeting on Tuesday they must
specify in writing the charges of the
cause for firing and give her 10 days
to prepare a response. Then, she will
have the right to a public hearing
about the grounds for the charges.
If they did not do that, City
Please see BOYER/Page 5A
City planner resigns
Code revision faces suspension
will have the
right to a
The planner for the city of
Crystal River tendered her res-
Nancy Smith, who has been
with the city since the summer
of 2002, had no comment about
"Enough has been said
Please see PLANNER/Page 5A
Annie's Mailbox . 7C
Movies ......... 8C
Comics ...... . 8C
Crossword ....... 7C
Editorial ...... 10A
Horoscope ...... 8C
Obituaries ........ 6A
Stocks .. .... 8A
'Best of the best'
Citrus High School drama students take
high honors at district competition./1C
A real love for the gospel
The McDonalds of the Church of Christ in
Inverness love to share faith./Saturday
* Citrus County
asked to accept
deal reached by
* Sheriff explains
why he needs a
* Youth, 19, arrest-
ed on lewd
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