Fundraising success for paralysed American war veteran
28th August 2013
An American war veteran who was severely injured in 2012 is fundraising for his parents to adapt their home for his use, with additions including stairlifts and an easy access bath. Although the family has been met with some financial challenges in the installation of this essential mobility equipment, Sean Pesce and his family are staying both positive and determined.
Army Specialist Sean Pesce was serving in Afghanistan in 2012 when he was wounded in a fire fight, receiving four gunshot wounds, damaging his spine and injuring a kidney and his spleen in the process. Although Sean has partially recovered from these serious injuries, he is still paralysed from the waist down and faces the possibility of not regaining the feeling in his legs.
Sean is still on active duty and has yet to be formally discharged from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' West Roxbury Hospital, but the date has been set for his return to the Pesce family home in March 2014. Before then, the Pesce family need to make a number of changes to their home to ensure that Sean can get around safely and as independently as possible.
A specially adapted housing grant is available to Sean and his family from the Department of Veteran Affairs, but the family have chosen not to take this up and will fund the work through their own savings and from fundraising events. The family have chosen not to take advantage of the grant towards adapting the Pesce family home as it can only used once and has no time limit, meaning that Sean could still use it in future to adapt his property when he leaves home.
Sean and his family have been working hard to raise the funds that they need to adapt the house and they are currently particularly focused on raising the money for stair lifts; they will need around $15,000 to purchase and install the specific outdoor stairlift that they have in mind. The family have launched an online donation page and have been selling T-shirts to raise the funds, and so far have raised over $10,000, meaning that the stairlift at least could be installed before Sean officially returns home. Whilst he is recuperating in hospital, Sean has been keeping busy and finding ways to keep up with the activities he has always enjoyed; thanks to the help of a Paragolfer his golf game is now better than ever. Although he faces the challenge of adaptation for the future, Sean appears to be ready to do so with confidence and positivity.
Click here to read more about the Pesce family's fundraising attempts and for a link to Sean's donation page.
Image Credit: The U.S. Army (flickr.com)
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