PLAINFIELD, IL – A young Plainfield resident’s life changed completely after an accident last month. Now his family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical expenses.
Anthony Ortega was on vacation in San Antonia, Texas when he had a “terrible” accident on Feb. 14, said his mother, Tabatha Ortega. The car he was in turned around several times, “which resulted in him completely breaking the lower vertebrae in his lower and middle back,” she said.
That incident occurred during “the worst Texas snowstorm since the 1980s,” Tabatha said, and it was difficult for police and ambulances to get into accidents. So a good Samaritan drove Anthony to his aunt’s house in San Antonio, and she then drove him to the hospital.
“He was in surgery for eight hours and made nine cuts, two rods and ten screws to stabilize his back,” she said. “He’s currently in the hospital trying to recover and regain the strength to walk again.”
Tabatha said the driver of the car was an acquaintance and Anthony was unaware that he did not have auto insurance. The Ortega have HMO health insurance, and they said much of their son’s care is not covered because she’s largely off the network, including all aftercare while he’s in Texas.
In addition to helping with his medical expenses, GoFundMe will help make his life more comfortable once he’s back in Plainfield. Due to the severity of his injuries, Anthony will be unemployed for a long time.
“He’s a roofer and after major spinal surgery, doctors say he won’t be able to do any manual labor for at least a year, if at all. He will always be in pain and most likely have problems if he does.” It’s raining and it’s cold from the hardware in his back, “said Tabatha.” Anthony’s life will be forever changed. It’s a wonder he wasn’t paralyzed in the accident, but he has a long journey ahead of him. “
The campaign is asking for a donation of $ 5,000. As of Wednesday, the family raised $ 2,000. Tabatha said they can’t go home until the end of March and want to raise as much money as possible over the next few months.
Anthony attended Plainfield South High School and, according to his mother, “was loved by everyone there”. She said her son was known for his kindness and ability to help those in need. One thing that Tabatha particularly admires about him is his way of “making people laugh even in difficult times”.
His desire to put the needs of others before himself was evident when, despite his own serious injuries, he was able to pull himself out of the rubble and carry his cousin – another passenger in the same car – on his back.
“The hospital said it was a miracle Anthony was able to pull himself out of the vehicle,” said Tabatha. “His cousin also has a neck and back fracture but luckily they were stable and he didn’t need surgery and was able to return to Chicago immediately. Doctors said they didn’t know how Anthony picked his cousin off the floor, they said it was a miracle that he was not immediately paralyzed. “
The Ortega are not thinking of taking legal action against the driver. They just want to help their son who is always there for others.
“Anthony is the guy who would give a stranger a shirt off and really could use some help until he can get back to work and to make sure he gets the medical care he needs,” Tabatha said.
To help Anthony visit his GoFundMe page here.
For more news and information, subscribe to the Plainfield Patch free of charge. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app. Download the free Patch Android app here. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!