Community support is surging for a North Jersey family with a beloved wife and mother still in the hospital suffering brain trauma months after a COVID-19 fever caused her to faint, fall down the stairs and have a stroke.
Sal Caradonna Jr. says his wife of more than 20 years, Trudy, fainted from a COVID-19 fever and fell down the stairs in their Mount Olive home March 18 around 4 a.m.
“I was sleeping in a separate bed when I heard a crash in our dining room; thinking it was a piece of furniture falling to the ground,” Caradonna writes on a GoFundMe he launched for medical expenses.
“It wasn't, it was my wife Trudy, head first down the stairs, arms at her side and splitting her head open.”
Caradonna quickly came to Trudy’s rescue and told his son, David, to call 911 as he started putting pressure on the head wound he says was bleeding “all over the both of [them].”
“It seemed like major head trauma was apparent which; unknown to me at the time lead to a stroke in the middle of the brain in a matter of seconds,” he writes.
After being rushed to Morristown Hospital, Trudy spent the next three weeks in a medically-induced coma and another three in a vegetated state, Caradonna says.
"The only interaction was on ZOOM to talk to her," he writes. "It was cold and distant, I needed to kiss my wife and hold her hand. She needed to know that she was not alone in this terrible journey."
Though Trudy is now making slow but steady progress, her doctors say she will need long-term care and may never work again in her career as a dental hygienist, according to Caradonna.
“Currently, when I visit my wife, she has anxiety, anger issues, uncontrolled moments and major memory loss,” he writes.
Trudy is now hospitalized at Kessler Rehab in Chester, where Caradonna says he visits her regularly while preparing for the long-term care she will require.
“I'll be needing a nurse 40 hours per week for one year — that's not cheap,” he writes. “Safety equipment installed, portable toilets, outside rehab visits, medication not covered by insurance and a therapist for her mindset.”
More than $5,300 had been raised on the GoFundMe as of Thursday.
“What can I say, I just miss my wife and I cherish her so much,” he writes.
“I need keep my residence, pay bills and keep my wife safe and healthy. God, please give her a second chance.”
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