Clark rallies around injured police officer from Howell

BY PATRICIA A. MILLER Staff Writer

HOWELL — Day by day.

That has been Sharon Adamonis’ motto ever since she got the call that her husband, Clark (Union County) Police Lt. Mark Adamonis, had been critically injured in a Feb. 22 car accident on his way home from work.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen,” she said of the officer’s prognosis. “It’s rough. He’s 44 years old. He’s having a rough time. He doesn’t know why he’s in there.”

Adamonis was driving his Jeep Wrangler from work to his home in Howell when his car hit a 250-foot patch of black ice on Route 9 south in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, at 4:44 a.m. and flipped, his wife said.

The veteran police officer sustained serious head and brain injuries. He spent two weeks in the trauma unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. He was later transferred to the John F. Kennedy Hospital brain trauma unit in Edison.

“The day he was taken to Robert Wood Johnson they didn’t think he would make it out of surgery,” Sharon said. “He’s come far in two months. Physically, if you look at him you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him.”

At first, Adamonis did not recognize his wife. The accident has played havoc with his short-term memory.

“He doesn’t walk really well,” his wife said. “Now he knows who I am.”

And her husband is frustrated, very frustrated, Sharon said.

“He doesn’t understand why he’s in there,” she said. “He doesn’t understand he was in an accident. He gets frustrated with me. He thinks I’m keeping him there. He wants to go home. He wants his own bed.”

Retired Clark police Capt. James Cerasa has considered Adamonis his “little brother” for many years. The two were roommates more than 20 years ago when they were both young police officers.

“He and I became like best friends,” Cerasa said on April 26.

And now Cerasa is going all out to help his friend. He has organized a May 6 fundraiser to be held at The Gran Centurions on Madison Hill Road in Clark. The event will get under way at 7 p.m. and feature a three-hour cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. All of the proceeds will go to the couple, Cerasa said.

Tickets for the event are $75 and can be obtained by calling Cerasa at 908-232- 3812.

Direct donations can be made payable to: Clark-4-Mark, c/o Investors Savings Bank, 56 Westfield Ave., Clark, NJ 07066.

For now, Sharon is doing everything she can to keep her husband in the brain trauma facility until she can have him transferred to a sub-acute care facility nearer to their Howell home.

“I’m hoping they can keep him for at least another week or so,” she said.

And she keeps up her routine of going to work at a doctor’s office in Neptune, then heading up to Edison to see Mark. The couple has no children.

“You go through different stages,” she said. “I went through being stressed out. Then you get mad. You want everyone to be OK. Now, I’m in limbo. I don’t really have my own time. I go to work, I go to the hospital. It’s rough.”

Sharon stays at the hospital until visiting hours are over.

“Then I go home and I sleep a few hours,” she said. “Then I call the hospital to see how he is.”

And she misses her animal-loving husband.

“He’ll see a turtle trying to cross the road, he stops in the road to pick up the turtle,” she said. “He’s a great person. Mark is one of the good ones.”

Ceraso agrees.

“Mark bends over backward for everyone,” he said. “He will take money out of his own pocket and give it to people who run out of gas. He’s just a great guy.”

Contact Patricia A. Miller at pmiller@gmnews.com.