Family of Norwalk man paralyzed in Christmas-time accident holds benefit

Zoe Greszler • Updated Mar 17, 2017 at 8:36 AM

Cletus Snay, a Norwalk husband and father who was severely injured in an accident that some say, said he was lucky to make it out of. 

Now his family is asking for the community and friends to help raise money for the needed renovations to his home as he deals with his ongoing disability. 

The benefit is planned for 4 to 10 p.m. April 8 at The Office Bar and will include live music and raffles. 

“My stepfather was in a car accident on Dec. 19 on his way to work on Young Road, in Bellevue,” said daughter Torri Reineck, of Norwalk.

“He had to be (flown by LifeFlight) from (the) scene and we were told he broke his neck and he wasn’t able to feel his legs or anything. We were all there when he was in surgery. He was in St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo for a month. He had different complications; he had a blood clot and different things, so he had to be transferred to Eden Springs, a long-term, acute-care hospital to start his rehab. With his tracheotomy, one of the goals there was to wean him off of that trach.

“It was kind of like touch and go because of where the break in his neck is. He stayed there for some therapy about three weeks and they were able to wean him off of the trach and his PEG tube that was feeding him. On Feb. 3, he was moved to Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Hospital,” Reineck said.

“At Dodd their goal is to get him strong again. He broke his sternum from the accident. He was labeled very critical after the accident. Their goal down there is to get as much of his independence back, so from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. he’s in therapy. My mom has been down there non-stop (staying in in a nearby family housing).”

He now is at Twilight Gardens until his home remodels are finished, allowing him to get around the house safely after having most of his body paralyzed. 

“He’s been doing different therapies and now he can use his arms and hands, which is such a blessing,” his daughter said. 

Reineck said her parents tried to avoid holding a fundraiser, but she said she eventually talked them into it. She added it was an unforeseen event and her parents would be one of the first offering to help someone else in need holding a benefit.

The family’s help is coming through Answering the Call Together (ACT), which is headed up by executive director David Wallace. Also helping is the Ford-UAW Community Service Group.

“We need the house renovated so my dad can get around and live comfortably,” she said. 

“Their home needs to be modified to become handicap accessible with ramps and other interior modifications, such as a remodeled bathroom that is handicap accessible. There are many costly, necessary changes needed to be made and they’re going to be doing that basically on donation. We just have to raise money for the materials.”

The April 8 benefit will feature live music from local band The Real McCoys from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature a 50/50 and several raffle items, including lottery trees and a 50-inch, flat-screen TV.

The money raised will go to purchasing the materials for ACT and any leftover will go toward a handicapped accessible vehicle.

“It’s a life-changing thing that you don’t even think about,” Reineck said. 

“It all happened five days before Christmas and it was just like a bad dream we couldn’t wake up from and that wouldn’t end. ... (But) his spirits are really good and he’s very positive. We’re blessed with all that.” 

All ready the family has been receiving support from friends which Reineck said they are “are very grateful for.”

“I wanted to thank people on Facebook; they had an outpouring of prayers and support,” she said.

Anyone wanting to donate to the cause is asked to donate to Croghan Colonial Bank, care of Cletus Snay.

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