A Life Changed in a Minute

In a split second, Ricardo Duarte’s life changed as did his mother’s, Elizabeth Duarte.

On the night of September 23, Ricardo was involved in an accident – a 4 car pileup that left him completely paralyzed. His neck was broken. One minute he was healthy and strong, and the next, he couldn’t move.

He was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital and then spent several weeks in a rehab center. He is now living with his mother in an apartment. Ricardo cannot walk, stand, sit, feed himself or turn himself in bed. He needs to be repositioned in bed every 2 hours to prevent bed sores. He needs someone to do range of motion exercises on him three times per day to increase blood flow in his body. He is totally dependent on his mother. Elizabeth has no choice but to take leave without pay. She has no help. Elizabeth is his only caregiver. 

Both Ricardo and Elizabeth are from Cuba and have been in the U.S. for 7 years. They have worked incredibly hard to make ends meet. After the traumatic accident, the only benefits they were eligible to apply for were SSI and Medicaid; however these benefits have not yet been approved and could take months and yet, the expenses continue to mount (diapers, bed pads, foleys, ramps, medicines, specialized equipment, etc). Ricardo did not have enough quarters of coverage for SSA and has no insurance. Ricardo and his mother have lived very frugally but whatever savings they have had have been depleted.

Day after day, it has only been their faith that has seen them through. Elizabeth has looked to Jesus the entire time, and He has been faithful. Her Sunday School class has come alongside with donations, gifts, and prayers, but this is a huge need that will continue to grow.

If there are enough donations given through this Go Fund Me page, Elizabeth will be able to hire a caregiver, pay for some of the medical expenses and return to work, at least part time knowing that Ricardo will be taken care of. This will help them financially as well as mentally so that they don't have to choose between eating or paying for Ricardo's medical needs. Anything you can give is deeply appreciated. It would be a way of extending Christmas to two people whose lives have been completely damaged by an accident. Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers for Ricardo and Elizabeth. God bless you and your family for your generosity and kindness.


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  • Anonymous 
    • $3,000 
    • 9 d
  • Pearlnath Joseph 
    • $250 
    • 26 d
  • Adepeju J Ibitayo 
    • $100 
    • 26 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 29 d
  • Yuniel Lopez  
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Natasha Paradeshi 
Richmond, TX
Elizabeth Duarte 
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