WAUKESHA, Wis. — Just a few days after the horrific tragedy at the Waukesha Christmas parade, the community is coming together for dozens of victims.
A mother and daughter who were struck during the parade remain in the hospital with serious injuries. The Perez family says the mother, Romelia, will need a wheel chair to get around. Thanks to a local contractor, she won’t have to worry about how she will get inside her home.
This Waukesha construction crew makes a living building things like wheelchair ramps, but this project isn’t ordinary work, rather a labor of love.
“It came together with the frustration, being a resident,” Brock Held said.
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Held says the feeling of frustration from the Waukesha parade fueled his desire to lend a hand.
“Doing what I do for a living, working for myself, I have a little bit more freedom to step away,” he said.
Held posted on Facebook, volunteering his services to help injured victims who won’t be able to get in and out of their homes on their own two feet. Sadly, some will return home in a wheelchair, like Romelia.
“She needs multiple surgeries. I know two days ago, she got her surgery for her pelvis and then today they’re going to be doing another surgery on her wrist and on her leg,” said Romelia’s niece Mayra Diaz.
Diaz says her aunt, Romelia, and cousin, Camila, were walking in the parade with Waukesha’s Catholic community when they were struck.
Eleven-year-old Camila was rushed to Children’s Wisconsin where she remains in the intensive care unit with leg and head injuries. Her mother Romelia is also in the hospital with a fractured pelvis, lower spine and leg. Doctors say she will need a wheelchair once she is discharged from hospital care.
Held says he got a call from the family asking for help building a wheelchair ramp, as the stairs up to the front door would create a challenge. It’s the first of many Held and his crew plan to complete free of charge thanks to donations for materials.
“If I can do this and have people help me do this, not only can we do one, which I originally planned on doing, but now we can do them all,” he said.
Diaz says her aunt has yet to learn that a Good Samaritan is currently working to make her life a little easier, but her whole family is grateful for the generous gift in a time of great need.
“It shows us that as Waukesha, we can come together as a community and still do good things for the people who got hurt in the parade because it’s very sad to see that that happened on Sunday,” Diaz said.
The Perez family says they are also thankful for the donations to their GoFundMe page which already has about $70,000. The family says they plan to use the money to cover medical bills they otherwise couldn’t afford.