“Friends of Mark Messina” will hold a fundraiser Sunday, Sept. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Granite Links Pavilion Tent, Quincy.
Tickets are $25 and the event will feature music, karaoke, hors d’oeuvres, raffles and an aution.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Mark Messina, a North Quincy native who was severely injured in a tractor trailer accident last Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2014.
During an over the road trip through Hattiesburg, MS for UPS, Messina was resting in the tractor’s sleeper berth while his team member was driving. When the driver swerved to avoid deer crossing the road he hit the soft shoulder, lost control and crashed the tractor into the trees.
The driver escaped with minor injuries. Mark was not so fortunate. He was thrown from the sleeper berth and ended up pinned beneath the dashboard. He suffered a broken spine, three broken ribs and a punctured lung. Mark was rushed to Forest General Hospital and had emergency reconstructive surgery.
The original prognosis was positive. He was told it may take 6-8 weeks before he regained feeling in his legs. At the time Mark had feeling from the waist up. Four days after the accident, Mark developed complications and required additional invasive surgery. He would need to be stabilized before being transported to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA.
After two weeks in Mississippi, Mark was airlifted to Atlanta for intensive therapy. Upon arrival, it was discovered that Mark had suffered a setback.
He had lost feeling from the waist up to his chest. A condition called SPAM (Sub-acute Progressive Ascending Myelopathy) had set in. This condition affects approximately 1% of spinal cord injury patients. Research of this condition showed that the feeling lost at onset may return, slowly and painfully, but feeling below the original point of injury may not. Mark’s uphill fight turned into a mountain.
Mark spent a couple of months at the Shepherd Center while struggling through therapy and rehabilitation. It was now time to come home to face the challenges of a new lifestyle. Mark and Jacinta’s home in Nashua, NH needed to be renovated to become handicap accessible. During this time, and currently, they reside in a handicap accessible hotel room at the Marriott Residence Inn in Nashua. While experiencing lengthy delays in the beginning of this work, they also had to deal with the insurance company on the purchase of a handicap van.
It was determined that even after modifications to their home it would still be unsafe and their new living conditions would be difficult. It was decided that they would sell their home in Nashua and have a new home built in Seabrook, NH. Adding to their financial constraints, according to Workers’ Compensation guidelines, Mark and his family will soon lose all group health benefits. Medical expenses, for Mark only, directly related to his accident will be covered. All other family health benefits will be lost. To help offset these costs, and to address future expenses as they adapt to their new reality, we ask for help.
For ticket information call Paul Messina at 617-312-5091. To donate online visit “FriendsofMarkMessina.org”