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This fundraiser ended on 10/16/12

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Our heartfelt goal to raise funds to acquire a wheelchair accessible van would tremendously improve Rory's quality of life. THANKS!

Rory is a victim of a hit-n-run motorcycle accident on August 5, 2009. He was on his way to work when a truck driver cut him off and clipped his front tire. The driver was not stopping, so Rory made the fateful choice to attempt to catch up with the person. According to an eyewitness, when Rory caught up with the driver to get his attention, the driver INTENTIONALLY swerved into Rory knocking him off his bike. Was he having a bad day? Did he just not like motorcyclists? Was he uninsured? Was he drunk? We will never know. But in those ‘split second’ decisions our world came to an abrupt halt. Rory’s life ‘as-we-know-it’...son, husband, father, friend... ended on that tragic day. He was left to die on the freeway with a fractured clavicle and head injury. The eyewitness, who also turned out to be a Good Samaritan, was not able to get a license number. But, along with a woman, pulled over, performed CPR and waited with Rory until emergency personnel arrived. Rory, the numbers whiz, the man with an unforgettable memory, dry sarcastic sense of humor and heart of gold, was dying on the freeway. Rory was the ‘go-to’ guy, the BBQ chef, the bartender at parties, the first one in line to help if you needed it, the dependable & responsible one who hated being late anywhere! Rory, nicknamed ‘Evil Rory’ for his delightfully, mischievious personality! Rory is 6’4”, a big guy riding a big cruiser…he was always safety conscious & rode in full coverage gear. We rode together every chance we got. On that tragic day our riding days were over, our camping-with-friends days were over. Rory was taken to the nearest head trauma unit with life-threatening injuries. Due to the skull fracture there was an instantaneous stroke. CHP told me there were no witnesses. When the freeway camera film was requested, CHP stated there was no camera where he fell. Because no one called in a license number, they closed the case. Our ‘chance’ meeting with the ‘Good Samaritan’ is a story for another day…was definitely an Angel-generated miracle! Once I was informed of details of the accident, I notified the CHP again to no avail. They REFUSED to pull camera film from farther back, REFUSED to re-open case they closed. End result is significant brain damage to left side, paralysis on right side from stroke. Although Rory has defied the odds and accomplished more than doctors said he would, it has not come without a price. As a result of this horrendous accident, we lost our home to foreclosure, his job, all of our savings, retirement, private medical insurance, vehicles…not to mention companionship & intimacy. After our private medical insurance maxed out, we were forced into the state Medi-cal system, and then after a 2-year wait, he was approved for Medicare. As a result of the insurance limitations, Rory has not received the proper physical or speech therapy that he needs. Due to the amount of care he needs and benefit restrictions, Rory has never been able to come home. MY BIGGEST WISH is to acquire a wheelchair van for Rory. We are dependent on public transportation…which has limited service areas, fees and sometimes long wait times. A wheelchair van would give us freedom to go places, visit family & friends, not waste time waiting on buses. It would greatly improve Rory’s mental status, social interaction skills and give us some privacy & quiet time. It would provide us with some ‘normalcy’. We could do day trips to ‘our’ mobile home, so he could be surrounded by his own things, have lunch, watch a movie, spend time with his wife…that would hopefully spark some more memory recall. We don’t have family close by, but I am eternally grateful for those friends who have stuck by us ‘no matter what’. I am not able to work due to a work injury I sustained in 2002, of which I get no compensation. Medicare/Medi-cal has us on a limited income, constantly under scrutiny. I drive a 60 mile round trip, in a 12 yr old car, to visit Rory and oversee his care. Sadly, there is a tremendous amount of abuse, neglect & theft in the skilled nursing facilities and we are at their mercy. His hospital visits, tests and xrays are too numerous to count. There is unnecessary damage to personal belongings AND his custom over-sized wheelchair. I HAVE to be there to make sure he is ok, that he gets enough water, that he is out of bed, been showered, that his clothes aren’t missing, etc. I accompany Rory to every doctor appointment or testing facility. A wheelchair van would be a bright spot in our challenged journey. Rory is very aware of his surroundings, is alert, recognizes people. I have consistently worked with him on speech and range of motion. He can hear, see, say 2-3 word sentences, feed himself, button shirts, brush his teeth, move around in his chair. These feats are GREAT accomplishments for him, things the rest of us take for granted. A wheelchair van would open up new adventures for us to improve his quality of life. I want to see my husband laugh again, smile again, be as happy as we can under these unfortunate circumstances. Genuine heartfelt THANKS to everyone who is willing & able to help us meet this dream goal.
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