On 4/18 Stephen was hit by a car, walking on the sidewalk. His injuries were profound; he has no insurance. He needs our help, friends.
Stephen's old friend and co-promoter, the very generous Tim League, founder and owner of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, has offered to put on a fundraising screener event for Stephen, here in Austin on Wednesday, June 25th. It will be at the Alamo Drafthouse Village location. Please clear your calendars for that day, as it promises to be VERY fun. I know we'll be watching one of Stephen's old favorites, so it'll be a swingin' and laughter-filled time. Please continue to spread the word about both this fundraiser, and the Alamo Drafthouse event, as this page will also be used for the Alamo donations. That, and the fact that Stephen's bills are piling up quickly, is why we've raised the donation amount to $10,000.
Stephen Romano is a fixture on the Austin scene. A published novelist and screenwriter, he's more passionate about his work than any artist I know. He's also a dear friend and family member to many people around the world.
On April 18th, he was walking on North Lamar Blvd. and a truck jumped the curb, hitting him at full force. This same truck also hit a telephone poll so hard it fell down, which should give you some idea how fast this driver was going. He was rushed to Austin's Brackenridge Hospital, where his entire right leg, from ankle to femur, had to be reconstructed using pins and plates. As if that weren't enough, after Stephen alerted them to a urinary issue, ER doctors discovered a golf ball-sized hole in his bladder, and worked to immediately repair the damage.
He spent ten long days at Brackenridge, barely able to speak, trying to piece together the puzzle of events. It was days before we discovered that he was indeed on the sidewalk, not in the street, when he was hit. Though his memory was pretty well shot, he couldn't imagine a scenario in which he would have put his life in danger by doing something stupid. You see, Stephen is a "professional pedestrian." He has owned a vehicle once or twice, but for the most part he prefers to get in his exercise by walking to run errands or just get some fresh air.
Stephen was released from the hospital on Sunday, April 27th. Though we do appreciate the fine work of the caregivers at Brackenridge, we believe Stephen would have benefited from additional time in the hospital. Unfortunately, people without health insurance are often rushed out to make way for the insured. However, he's hard at work on his physical therapy and anxious to get to work on his new job. Until he can begin working, he can't get paid.
Stephen is now convalescing at his home. It's very, very slow going. He must learn to walk again under exhausting circumstances. His leg is obviously still healing beneath the many staples, so simple tasks are enormously difficult. We would like to use this fund to provide Stephen with as much help with incidentals as humanly possible.
This money will go to things like:
- The cost of his home medical supplies
- And other items as needed...
Stephen always has been, and always will be, a very independent person. He has recovered by himself from other extremely painful medical conditions over the last several years. Unfortunately, these injuries are much more profound, and so we have to come together to help him with the many costs associated with daily living.
ANYONE close to Stephen will tell you that he would be the first person to loan them money, or buy them lunch when they're down on their luck. He's often said to me, "I have no respect for money," which is just a little joke meaning, "Let's remember what's important in life." He has been there for me personally many, many times over the years. I know that all of us can say the same. So let's huddle up and get Stephen well. Because with a little help from his friends, he can take it.
"Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, 'Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.'"
Update: Hey guys, please share this fundraiser link on your Facebook and Twitter posts as you can. Send it in emails too, if you're not into the whole social network thing. Thank you all for everything!