Sixteen years ago, in August of 1999, our father Raymond suffered from a brainstem stroke. He was left with Locked-in Syndrome, which means he is almost completely paralyzed and is unable to verbally communicate. His only range of motion is with his eyes, which is how he communicates using a modified version of the alphabet. He resides in a rehabilitation hospital in northern Rhode Island to get the 24-hour care he needs.
Before the stroke, he worked passionately as an auto mechanic. Quite often, he would spend his days off helping others with their car problems, while still making plenty of time to spend with his kids. He made sure we were always having fun, whether it was riding around the back yard in our go-kart, building snow forts and ice skating rinks in the winter, or waking us up at the crack of dawn to get the best seats at the Bristol 4th of July Parade.
When he first became sick, a handicap van was generously donated to him. We were so grateful for that donation, but unfortunately a few years ago, the van was old and no longer safe to use. Without the use of a personal van, it is very difficult and expensive for him to leave the hospital grounds. We would love to be able to include our father in our lives more often. Having our own handicap van would make this possible.
He was and still is an amazing father and man in general. The strength of his character has been an example to us and to many others of what a true hero is. We have learned that each and every day is a blessing and to not be taken for granted.
We are starting this gofundme page in hopes to raise enough money to purchase an appropriate handicap van for our father. Handicap vans are expensive and we cannot afford one on our own. Every donation will be greatly appreciated by our family and especially RayRay.