In 1965, my father, John “Jack” Ribera enlisted in the US Army and became a Paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He was gravely wounded in August, 1966. After 22 months at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital, a plate in his head, and partial paralysis to the right side of his body, he managed to live his life as fully and completely as possible. He would celebrate his triumph over his near death experience by having an annual “Glad to Be Alive Party” in which he so generously would throw a giant picnic at his own expense for all of his family and friends.
Two years ago, my mom and dad were met by tragedy once again when an electrical malfunction caused him to lose his house to a horrible fire. He once again was able to start over and continue living his life.
Every year Jack goes to a reunion with his Airborne division to share support, camaraderie and healing. On May 27th while traveling in Tennessee, he lost his balance as he tends to do and fell, hitting his head and sustaining a serious traumatic brain injury. Once again, dad is dealing with his need for extensive rehabilitation. He is unable to speak, and not yet able to get up/walk. My mom hasn't left his side since the accident and has no family there in TN to support her. Because of the seriousness of his injuries, the hospital will not allow him to be moved back to CT with us. We are not sure when or how he will be getting home and this out of pocket expense could be quite large. As a combat wounded veteran, one would expect that all medically required treatment would be covered. Sadly, this is not the case.
I am starting this GoFundMe to assist in the out of pocket expenses that my parents will incur. Please donate whatever you can. Even $10 dollars will make a difference so that dad can heal and be supported in his home state.