Tony Spinelli, an accomplished musician, composer, former journalist and martial artist who parlayed his talents into a second career as a security guard, suffered a debilitating stroke this spring that paralyzed one side of his body.
But that's not all. The stroke has blinded Tony and forced him to have to relearn how to balance and how to walk. The stroke has impacted every aspect of his life --including his livelihood as a security guard. Because if you can't see, you can't perform the job.
This stroke has left Tony with crushing bills from the hospital to follow-up care, rent, food and transportation costs to get to doctors and physical therapy. Friends have helped here and there delivering food to Tony, but they can't do it on a regular or consistent basis.
Tony's balance is still unsteady. So, he needs food delivered from supermarkets. He lacks the financial ability to pay the delivery charges in addition to the cost of food.
He's a proud guy, and he needs help. In fact, he might even tell you that the circumstance he finds himself in now resembles the hard-luck stories that he sometimes wrote about as a journalist for some of Connecticut's largest newspapers and media companies.
Imagine what it's like for someone who has had a physically-demanding job lose their vision, physical strength and ability to earn a living. Tony is in his 60s and finds himself in a situation he never imagined when he was healthy. He is trying -- hoping to get on his feet (literally) but the stress of being unable to pay rent, his medical bills from the hospital, the rehab facility and the cost of food and transportation is staggering. He has ripped through whatever savings he once had.
Tony has already sold off his musical instruments and equipment. There is nothing else left to sell to pay his bills. For any musician in Connecticut who has benefitted from jamming with Tony, or anyone he has shared his love for martial arts with, Tony Spinelli could really use your help now. Before this stroke, he was getting by financially and paying his bills.
As I write about Tony, I am reminded of the countless times he would escort me or some of my colleagues to our company parking lot two blocks away in a neighborhood that could best be described late at night as sketchy. Thank you in advance for helping Tony. It would mean the world to him.