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Former Greenport priest, victim of Shelter Island home invasion, getting stronger

The Rev. Canon Paul Wancura continues to show signs of improvement after suffering serious injuries during a home invasion and burglary on Shelter Island three weeks ago.

“He was sitting up, breathing on his own, off the ventilator,” said Father Charles McCarron, pastor of St. Mary’s Church, after visiting the 87-year-old retired Episcopal minister at Stony Brook University Hospital late last week.

Reverend Wancura is still in the intensive care unit of the hospital in serious condition, but his health is improving, Father McCarron said. Just last week, he was still on a ventilator.

“They’re even trying to get him to take nourishment by mouth,” he added, noting that Reverend Wancura has good days and bad days. “I was there on a good one.”

Father McCarron found Reverend Wancura in his Oak Tree Lane home in Silver Beach on March 19, bound by the hands and slumped between a wall and a bed where he had been left for at last two days.

Because of his injuries, he’s still receiving blood transfusions, Father McCarron reported, and his communication with others is limited.

“I didn’t bring up the incident and neither did he.”

The doctors, Father McCarron said, are surprised at his progress, adding that “one doctor told me, ‘This man had mortal wounds.’”

He said he told his elderly colleague that Shelter Island’s prayers were with him and Reverend Wancura responded with thanks.

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