Ricardo’s Recovery Fund

Hello, my name is Cordelia Brazziell. I created this Gofundme in an effort to help support and raise money to assist my husband Ricardo Brazziell through his recovery and medical expenses.

Ricardo is an awesome son, husband, father of two boys and friend. He works as a photo journalist for the Austin American Statesman and is the sole provider of our household. He is an honest, hard working man, humbly asking for assistance through a very hard time.

Ricardo is under critical care. He had a seizure while sleeping early Saturday morning, not long after blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, dislocating AND breaking both of his shoulders as a result. 

It’s been a rough few days and he’s continuing to make progress but your donation can really help towards his recovery physically and mentally. 

Here’s what happened-

On August 27th this year, just a few days ago, Ricardo celebrated his 45th birthday. It was just our little family (with this COVID delta variant on the rise and us all having JUST recovered from having a rough bout with Covid ourselves after attending a wedding, we opted to have a small simple socially distanced celebration with just ourselves). We finished off his birthday celebration with an Oreo ice cream cake while singing his happy birthday song. Our 3 year old was too excited to help daddy blow out his candles. Everything was normal, and Ricardo went to sleep happy...

I hadn’t slept in nearly 2 days trying to prepare his birthday surprise (a mancave) and finally went to sleep around 3am. My body strangely woke me up around 5:30 (God is good).... I walked to our door entrance and then looked back at our bed and something seemed...off. I walked closer to our bed and saw Ricardo acting... weird. I turned on the nightlight next to his side of the bed and found him with his eyes rolling to the back of his head, chest sticking straight up to the sky, with his body super tense and jerking. “Ricardo?..” (stop playing with me man I’m thinking). No response. Fuck he’s having a seizure! I turn him to his side and gently lay him on the ground and proceed to call 911. “Ricardo! Ricardo... please baby please!”Is what I kept yelling. Please be okay, please be strong, please keep breathing, please stay awake, please, please, please don’t leave me!

After 2-3 minutes he stopped seizing and began taking biiiiiiig deep tired breaths. He wasn’t aware of me, he couldn’t hear the tears choking me as I spoke to the 911 operator. He couldn’t hear my fear, my sorrow and desperation as I helplessly watched. He couldn’t hear my pleads for him to keep fighting, to be strong babe and stay awake.  He couldn’t hear me telling him that he was going to be okay and that 911 was on the way. Finally after 11 painstaking minutes firefighters arrive. It was the longest 11 minutes of my life! 

I informed them that he’s had a seizure, this has never happened before, he isn’t aware at all and seems like his shoulder is in pain. As soon as they approach his head lifts up and his eyes are wild, bulging and full of fear and confusion. He lowered back down, exhausted, and then lifts his head again... his eyes still filled with the same but somehow different, or rather new fear and confusion. This cycle continued for a while. They tried asking him questions, but he was still unable to speak. The fear and confusion in his eyes said everything tho. I answered for him, “ His name’s Ricardo... he’s 45... no allergies...he doesn’t take any medications... no medical issues... no history of seizures... no surgery... After a time they tried to lift him, he yelled a gut wrenching yell. His shoulder! They lowered him. “Help me,”he cried out. “Help me please!” I wanted to cry... his pain was mine. I wanted to help so bad... I wanted to take away his pain and wear it for him... I wanted to do more... but I could do nothing, except watch helplessly. I felt just as helpless as the pain and desperation felt around the room in his voice as he cried out in agony. Simultaneously, his screams brought me hope. After finally hearing his voice I knew everything would be ok.

They adjusted and tried again... another scream but he was up. He couldn’t support himself or walk on his own. “Which shoulder?” one firefighter asked “both” Ricardo replied. They managed to get him onto a gurney. Before being wheeled away he saw our son Khalil crying violently in the corner. Through his own pain he still found the strength to comfort him, saying “it’s okay son... it’s gonna be ok”.   Then, into the darkness if the night, firefighters wheeled him away. The ambulance lights bouncing off the night sky like a beautiful dancing sunset...or sunrise rather. Ricardo’s memory and ability to think and process got better and better as the morning progressed but his shoulders were still in excruciating pain.                

Ricardo had had a seizure for the first time ever, and out of the sheer force of his body/ muscles tensing up so fast from a sleeping state at his size, he dislocated AND BROKE both of his shoulders. (Thus his agonizing cries of pain...)

He’s had 3 CT scans, 3MRI’s, an EEG, lots of anesthesia (general a few times and to specific areas), surgery to his right shoulder, Echo test, lumbar puncture and plenty of other procedures. They were able to manually get his left shoulder back in the socket and said the broken bones line up well to heal naturally. His right shoulder was  another story... He had to have surgery because broken bones had wedged themselves into the sockets, preventing them from being able to manually adjust back into socket without surgery to remove bone and replace tendons. Both arms are in slings and at the moment he’s unable to use his arms and need assistance to perform normal simple daily living activities such as walking, using restroom, eating, drinking, bathing, brushing his teeth etc. He is also unable to use his phone if you’ve been trying to contact him. I’ve been trying to respond for him, so please bare with me. He’s in an immense amount of pain still Bc they’re having a hard time finding medicines that actually work for him/ relieves his pain. His recovery time is expected to be between 3-6 months. He carries very VERY heavy cameras, lenses and equipment on both shoulders while performing his duties as a photojournalist. His doctors said that it’s imperative that he takes the time to heal properly and not try to rush his healing process as to not re-injure and extend his recovery time.

The neurologist is unsure why he had a seizure and is requesting more tests to help determine this. He’s needing 24 hour care, cannot walk or be alone or operate vehicle for 3-6 months etc. I think the worst part of this for him has been not being able to see and hold his  kiddos due to the hospitals COVID restrictions.

This has been a very traumatic experience for our family, especially Ricardo. We both have been having trouble sleeping since this incident. Especially since doctors, even after all the procedures and tests, cannot tell us WHY this happened to him. We’re afraid he’ll have a another seizure in his sleep again. Since his incident, every morning, without alarm, my body wakes up around 5:30ish... around the same time if Ricardo’s seizure. We just want answers, so we know what precautions and steps to take in future. And the boys miss their dad. 

If you know Ricardo, then you know he can be a bit of a worrier, and outside of the physical pain he is still feeling in his shoulders, his biggest stress point is the worry he feels thinking of the ominous medical bill wading in the background. Waiting to strike. And also how he will be able to maintain bills when we were already barely making it by, living month to month. 

This year I convinced him to sign up for lower medical plan because we rarely go to dr outside of our regular checkups, and we needed to sign up for the dental high plan for work to be done on himself, me and one of our children. Plus his checks were becoming smaller and smaller each year, with rates changing and more $ coming out each year. Well, that was a big mistake. Sorry babe. Now he’s super worried about his medical bill. I keep reminding him that everything will be fine and work itself out. That he should remain positive and focus on the good. That he should be grateful that he’s alive and did not seize in car while driving by himself or while we all were in the car. Things could’ve been a lot worst. 

Please donate to Ricardo and our family. We will be providing 24 hour care and monitoring him closely for seizures for a while, while he’s wears a monitor for a month to see if we can understand why he had a seizure and the best plan to avoid them and also assist in every aspect of his daily living.

Your donation will help Ricardo to be able to focus on in his recovery, physical and occupational therapy sessions, neuro dr visits and additional screenings needed, medicines and things we’ll need to modify and handicap proof our home for his safety like shower chair, toilet riser, handrails and doorknobs etc amongst other things he’ll need. It will also to cover medical expenses and bills which he is most worried about. You all know how it goes... bill do not go away... they do not care if you’re sick, or having a family emergency. They just want to be paid. 

We’re expecting his hospital bill to be a lot more than what he’d like to raise but if he reaches his goal , it would be a huge relief and weight off his shoulders... No donation is too small. And if you’re unable to donate, you can still help by  please taking a moment to share this Gofundme to possibly reach more people who may be able to.

Please keep Ricardo and our family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you so very much for your support. ❤️

Donations (733)

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  • Will Gallagher
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Andrew Bennett
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sharon Roberts
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Tundra Terrell Nunez
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Reginald and Wanda Peters Owens
    • $200 
    • 2 yrs
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Cordelia Brazziell
Pflugerville, TX
Ricardo Brazziell

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