Lou's WheelChair Accessible Van

When I was awoken by phone call from my Mother on Sunday, April 7, 2019, I had no idea that when I answered that call, life would never be the same again. My Dad, Lou to the many friends and family who love him, was just rushed to the hospital after just taking a fall, suffering a spinal cord injury and having lost feeling in all of his extremities. He laid unable to move in the Emergency Trauma Room at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for days, as friends and family members rushed to the hospital to be with him, showering him with love and support. 

The prognosis was not good and despite the overwhelming love and support he got, his spirits rightfully so were not either. As he laid there, awaiting word on the first steps since his accident there was the slightest of movement in his left toe but no movement anywhere else and no feeling anywhere. The hope was that a major spinal surgery would correct the two fractures of his C-3 to C-6 vertebrae & would allow the pressure on his spine and neck to alleviate, fuse together & heal so that one day, he could possibly walk again.

Surgery was on April 11, 2019 and six days later after a successful surgery, Lou was moved  into an Acute Rehabilitation Center within the hospital, on April 17, 2019. That is where the most important healing and the start of his long road to recovery would take place. Starting to re-learn the most basic functions that we all take for granted, and trying to build up the strength to try to use his arms and legs again. After a 29 day stay here, Lou would be transferred to another rehabilitation center for 45 days for more therapy. With much more hard work and specialized care that Lou needed, he was released and sent home on June 28, 2019 due to his health insurance refusing to further cover his medical needs in an inpatient rehab facility.

Home wasn’t the same though, neither before his accident or for the care that was necessary. A hospital bed in the living room and a wheelchair my Mom had to get him in and out of with a manual hoyer lift took the place of his normal life and routine and the care he needed. That normal life and routine now consisted of my Mother becoming his primary caregiver, nurses in and out of their house, physical and occupational therapists visiting on a daily basis. There have been setbacks, many of them but Lou has continued to work hard. Having gained the ability to try to  move his legs and hand without assistance are things we all don’t think twice about but he’s had to fight every inch for and continues to fight for even the slightest of improvements.

Having lost the ability to be self sufficient is one of the hardest things Lou has had to adjust to. That is why when he received his motorized wheelchair, he gained back some of that freedom. With hard work, building up the muscles in his left arm and hand the stamina, while being a righty, he is able to go from the living room to the kitchen and with some assistance, outside.

Since returning home back on June 28, 2019, other than a doctor visit here and there and only with a wheelchair accessible van that insurance had once but no longer covers, Lou has not been able to leave home which is why we are fundraising for a WheelChair Accessible Van. Through the last year and a half; hospital, doctors, therapists, medical equipment bills have all added up and added up quickly and have been a strain and while I know that we are all struggling during this difficult time, any amount that you can donate to help aid ease the current and future financial strain is more than greatly appreciated.


 See top
  • Claire Galvin 
    • $100 
    • 20 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Ed Castellazoo 
    • $500 
    • 4 d
  • Janice Nolan 
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • EP Forehand 
    • $50 
    • 20 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jason Pontillo 
East Jewett, NY
Toni Ann Pontillo 

  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more