RIDGEFIELD, N.J. — Close friends of Ridgefield resident Michael Romano have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to cover expenses associated with his medical care.
On Sept. 9, Romano had a brain hemorrhage causing him to have a stroke. He was sent to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck for a couple of days before being transferred over to Hackensack University Medical Center.
His condition has stabilized and he has recently moved to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in Saddle Brook. He has since regained feeling in his right arm for the first time in two weeks. Yet he has failed a swallowing test again and doctors couldn't avoid putting a feeding tube directly into his stomach.
There is hope for some degree of recovery, but costs for rehabilitation and care are staggering.
The GoFundMe account was launched by Romano’s close friends John Gruberman and Dr. Jerold Kaminsky. All three attended Ridgefield Memorial High School and became closer when they all attended Montclair State University.
Gruberman even named Romano as one of his co-best men at his wedding, 18 years ago.
“I made a comment about who would I want in a fox hole with me and I picked Michael,” Gruberman said. “I just trust him and know he will do the right thing. I don’t know many people who would cover for you and get shot for you. He is totally that type of person.”
Romano currently does not have any medical insurance, so any funds will help contribute to living expenses and medical expenses while he goes through rehabilitation.
In the four weeks the site has been live, about $4,000 has already been raised.
“He is the most caring person I know,” said Sarah Shaffer, Romano’s niece on the GoFundMe page. “He helped raise me. He is a big part of me. He always encourages me to do better, try my best, achieve my goals, at everything. So please help him. I need my uncle.”
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