A fundraising effort for a retired FDNY firefighter who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident last month in Riverhead has already gained thousands of dollars.
Bill Esposito, 60, suffered multiple injuries following the crash March 9 on Route 58 when an unlicensed driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle to attempt a left-hand turn onto Oliver Street. The Riverhead News-Review and The Suffolk Times published an account of Mr. Esposito’s rescue and ensuing struggle April 7, leading to an outpouring of support for the family.
“The day the story hit, within 24 hours, people were calling, people came to see him, to check on him, people who never would have known,” said his wife Nancy Esposito.
Ms. Esposito’s sister Barbara Repenning started a GoFundMe page. The money will go toward renovating the Esposito’s home to accommodate making it handicap accessible, Ms. Esposito said.
On Monday morning the GoFundMe had raised $2,650, which grew to over $5,000 a few hours later. The goal listed is $20,000.
“It’s been amazing,” Ms. Esposito said, adding that people have even offered to drive her to her husband’s rehab facility in Manhasset called North Shore-LIJ Family Center for Rehabilitation. “People really have been phenomenal.”
Ms. Esposito said her husband may require two additional surgeries, on his right foot and left knee, as he continues his long recovery. She said the doctors aren’t sure if they can operate on his foot because there’s so many fractured bones. He has multiple torn ligaments in his knee that will also require surgery, she said.
Mr. Esposito could be brought home sooner if the surgery on his foot can’t be done.
The renovations to the home would include adding a ramp and enlarging a bathroom, Ms. Esposito said. A physical therapist in the rehab center told Ms. Esposito they can assist in determining what renovations are needed, she said.
“Eventually the hope is he’ll be walking, but that’s a long road,” she said.