As an old friend, I am writing to you on behalf of the friends and family of Charles “Chuck” Gentry. A series of unfortunate events occurring over the last two years has left Chuck needing your help. Since August 2016, Chuck has sustained serious injuries on both of his legs and has required multiple complex surgeries to repair and replace defective knee replacements twice and torn patellar and quadriceps tendons. Chuck has recently been treated by a world-class surgical team at the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Helen Hays Hospital for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Since the initial 2016 repair work done by other surgeons failed, it took Chuck many months of being referred from one surgeon to another simply to find a surgical team both expert enough and willing to perform the necessary surgeries. Finally, after two years, having found a committed and talented team of surgeons and therapists, there appears to be light at the end of this tunnel. Chuck had the first of the necessary surgeries on May 18 on the left leg, followed by two weeks in Helen Hayes hospital. More recently, since August 1st, a similar sequence of surgery and rehabilitation for the right leg has been followed.
Why Chuck Needs Our Help Now
Chuck has not worked full time since August of 2016, more than 2 years. Climbing the 24 steps getting up to the first floor where he teaches in the Bronx, has kept him on many days from being able to do what he loves to do: teach kids with special needs in small group settings. As a result, his principal has had to replace him.
Teaching only part-time and persistent absences have reduced Chuck’s savings to an emergency low level.
His current landlord has begun proceedings to evict Chuck
What Chuck Needs From Us Right Now - Emergency
As an independent contractor with the NYC Dept. of Education, Chuck qualifies for neither disability nor unemployment benefits. Bills keep arriving. His landlord is threatening to evict. In addition to his apartment and daily expenses, Chuck’s health insurance covers only some of his medical expenses. In particular, his surgeon does not accept Medicare. Therefore, there is a minimum of $12,000 owed to surgeon at this point. Additionally, and as we all know, many insurance deductibles are often astonishingly high.
There is an immediate need for contributions that would allow Chuck to remain in his home and continue to receive the expert medical help he has been getting.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
The necessary surgeries have been performed. Chuck is chomping at the bit to get back to work. But there is still a lot of strengthening and rehabilitation that needs to be done before he can return to work full time. In the meantime your contributions, no matter how small, will help Chuck make it through these few more remaining months.
As Chuck’s close friend, I am extremely grateful for your help. Chuck has been astonished at the generosity and kindness friends and family have shown. But perhaps almost as amazing has been the generosity of complete strangers who have, in many small and large ways, helped my friend get back on his feet. Now let’s help him walk these remaining steps and return once again to the expert teaching and painting that he cares about so passionately.
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