Kim DelMonico wrote -
EDDIE RIVERA is a close friend of our ChoiceCenter LV144 team member, Scott Epstein. Eddie is a “tinknocker,” part of the Local 28 Sheet Metal Workers Union in New York City. After the September 11th tragedy, Eddie signed up as a volunteer skilled worker, a first responder who went to Ground Zero to be part of the search and rescue effort.
After volunteering his services, Eddie's health declined. He has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, asthma, sepsis, and PTSD. He recently had half of his left leg amputated due to a complication caused by the sepsis. Government Agencies have been compensating Eddie $400 a week for his pain and suffering from the WTC Compensation fund, but that is not nearly enough to cover Eddie's expenses.
Eddie has no medical insurance and is Medicaid pending, which means that if he is not approved by Medicaid, all medical bills will come out of his pocket. Eddie is currently in the hospital waiting to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. His journey to full recovery is still a long way ahead of him. He will endure weeks of physical therapy to learn how to walk again with a prosthetic. Eddie faces the threat of his current medical bills not being covered by insurance. He is months behind in paying his rent and is now facing eviction.
Eddie is a gifted artist and would like to give back to the world through his art. He wants to inspire others with his artwork. His dream is to live on a hill, close to the water, whether he could see sunshine, grass, forestry, and plants as inspiration for his artwork. Eddie would love to live in a single-story house so that he can get around easier with his prosthetic leg. He has hopes that, with this new leg, he may be able to run again. He is inspired by paralympian Amy Purdy, who won a gold medal even though she had BOTH of her legs amputated.
TUESDAY'S CHILDREN - FIRST RESPONDER ALLIANCE strives to provide First Responders and their families with services and programs to alleviate stress and other mental health concerns. The First Responder Alliance has many valuable partners which aim to address your families' urgent needs and provide a bridge to external physical and mental health services.
Tuesday's Children has found that when they connect their First Responder families to other members of the 9/11 community there is a profound and positive impact on collective healing - many of their programs assist families in forming connections, developing support systems and assisting families in coping with chronic mental and physical concerns.
First Responder Alliance Programs and Services:
ο Programs and counseling for 9/11 responders and their families
ο Wellness and enrichment programs for 9/11 responders and their families
ο Psycho-education programs for responders, spouses and children to
improve family dynamics, including communication, stress management,
parenting, self-esteem and healthy living