My name is Amparo Gavina nd my dad has always been very important to me. His name is Eusebio Reyes but I always call him dad. When my siblings and I were growing up he was always there for me. When I was younger I remember him taking us to the park he would push us on the swings, he would play ball with all of us. When my mom worked late and he would get home earlier he would cook for us and made sure we had everything ready for school the next day. As adults what can I say he was there for all of the us as well. He was there for me especially after my husband left me with four small children. He took me in with my kids. After I lived him with for awhile my kids didn’t just see him as grandpa they looked at him like a father figure. He would do activities with them like he did when I was small. He would play and take my kids for walks. If they need something and I couldn’t buy he would buy it for them.
Then one morning on November 14, 2016 my mom, Ascencion Reyes, asked my dad to go to the store. my dad goes to the store for my mom a lot, at least two times per week. However, this time my dad did not come home at then usual time. My mom began to very worried, and later that afternoon she sent my brother, Robert Reyes, to go look for him. My mom thought that maybe he might be hanging out with friends, or that they went to the city to the grocery store. My brother did not find him anywhere. Then around 6:00p.m. my mom received a phone call. It was the police, and they asked if she knew, Eusebio Reyes. She said yes, and handed the phone to my brother. My brother listed to the police, who stated that my dad had been found unconscious face down in an alley. The alley that they found my dad was the alley in back of the bus station on 15th Street in Chicago Heights. The police did not know if he had been attacked or if it was an accident. So they had been calling all the Reyes Families in the phone book to see if they knew him. They had finally called a phone number and they advised the police that he was their uncle and that is how they called us. Then they started to tell my brother that my father was in the hospital and not in a good condition. They told him that they received a call about a man being in an alley on the floor. When they arrived, he was unresponsive and injured bad. My dad was struck on the head and it was very swollen and one of his eyes looked like it was about to pop. Once my family arrived at the hospital they told them that my dad had to be airlifted to Stroger Hospital because they could not attend him. Once at Stroger Hospital they told us that they had to do an emergency surgery to try and get all the blood out of his head. After surgery, my dad was in a coma. He had all these machines on him. Some of the doctor’s did not give us too much hope. After being in the hospital for weeks, they finally told us that we might need to say our goodbyes because they did not think he was going to make. If he made it was going to be pretty much in a vegetable stage. After hearing this my mom, siblings, and his grandchildren were devastated we didn’t know what to do. After a few days, my father started to respond a little better. He had memory loss he couldn’t remember who we were. He didn’t remember what happened to him, and he was unable to move most of his body. After being in the hospital and rehabilitation for about six months my dad was allowed to go home.
When we first brought my dad home from the hospital he was very emotional and he didn’t have words. He still has memory issues, and can’t move most of right side. He can now eat regular food but has to be made into small pieces and someone has to feed him as he can’t use his right side. He has a hard time dressing himself, has a hard time moving his wheelchair as his hands are weak and he can’t move his right leg as well. We will never know what happened to him as he does not remember that day. I miss all the talks that I used to have my dad. We constantly have to remind him of our names, what day it is, and other things that he would know. My dad still has many doctor and rehabilitation appointments to attend. Our family does not have a vehicle that can accommodate his needs. We always have to look for someone that has a vehicle that is accessible that we can put him in. If we would win this vehicle, it would change our lives massively. We would be able to take our dad to his doctors and rehabilitation appointments without looking for a vehicle. We would be able to take him out more to family gatherings it as it hard to do so right now.