Rick Lauretta and his daughters, Tara and Brande. Lauretta recently had a stroke and is in need of funds for rehabilitation.
WEST MILFORD — The people of West Milford are there for each other. And for one West Milford man, that is vital for his health right now.
Last Friday, Rick Lauretta, a 30-year resident of West Milford and local business owner, suffered a stroke while on a job. He remains in Chilton Hospital, paralyzed on his right side. With no health insurance, Lauretta is in need of funds in order to get the rehabilitation services he needs.
"He critically needs to get into a rehab facility," said his friend, Linda McCullough, who has placed collection jars in businesses throughout the township.
McCullough has been in touch with Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation; without insurance, Lauretta will be charged a discounted rate of $2,200 per day for rehab. First, he must be evaluated by a Kessler nurse to give an idea of the length of time needed in rehab.
"We need to raise money so he can get into rehab," said McCullough.
And that is where the West Milford community comes in.
Lauretta, 55 and a single dad of two daughters, Tara, 22, and Brande, 21, is known as a giving individual. Despite managing a business, Bianchi and Sons Construction, he also supports local organizations including the West Milford Animal Shelter and the local women's shelter.
"Mr. Lauretta is someone everyone can look up to in more ways than one," said Allison Weber, a longtime family friend. "He has an admirable amount of patience and is always willing to lend a helping hand."
Lauretta has a long road of recovery ahead of him. He has great emotional support from his daughters and friends. What he also needs is financial support.
There is a Go Fund Me page set up online entitled Rick's Get Well Fund (https://www.gofundme.com/at6hzx-ricks-get-well-fund).
For those who would like to make a donation via check, call McCullough at 973-277-1438.
Or, when you shop at the following local businesses, drop some cash in the bucket to help fund Lauretta's rehab: Frank's Pizza, Bagel Town, Mario's Deli, Highlander Deli, Jimmy the Barber, Sit 'N Chat Diner and Kuiken Brothers in Warwick.
"Mr. Lauretta today sits afraid, conscious and aware of what has occurred," said Weber. "Struggling with the uncertainty of his recovery and of the future costs. His mind should be resting, focusing on healing. Anything that you can contribute to relieve this burden will be truly appreciated."
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