SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTNH) — One look at Seymour Ambulance EMT Lt. Josh Henriquez and you can tell he has been through something traumatic.
He has the bruises on his face to prove it.
“I have a lot of people tell me to keep my chin up and everything will be okay,” he said. “I have people supporting me throughout the recovery.”
Last Wednesday morning, Henriquez said he was running on the Farmington Trail in Southington when a driver hit him. It left him with multiple facial fractures, a fractured humerus bone (which is in your upper arm) and other injuries, including to his knees, which are also scraped up.
Because of that accident, Henriquez is now out of work and cannot hop in the ambulance to help others, which he tells News 8 drives him to wake up every morning.
“I was raised to help others,” he said. “Now, waking up in the morning and suffering from pain from this incident hurts a lot.”
But, something is happening that is easing that pain. His buddies at Seymour Ambulance started making daily house calls to check on him and make him realize his work family is rooting for him.
“We’ve organized amongst ourselves visitation and meals for him to help him through this time to keep his spirits up,” said Lt. Avi Balter.
But, they’re not just cheering him up. They also came up with a fundraiser to help Henriquez pay his medical expenses and living expenses while he remains out of work with a long road to recovery ahead of him.
“We’re trying to raise money for Josh,” said Lt. Tyler Smith. “He’s going to be out of work for at least a couple of months so we want to help.”
They’re not the only ones. Henriquez also works for Ansonia Rescue Medical Services and Naugatuck Ambulance and he’s a Seymour firefighter. Crews in those agencies and people in those towns are also contributing to his fund.
So far, the donations are approaching $5,000.
“There [are] no words to describe how thankful I am,” he said, holding back tears. “It’s been rough and them helping me — it helps a lot, mentally.”
So much so, that it has given Henriquez determination and fire to get back on his feet as fast as he can — in the ambulance and on the road.
News 8 asked Josh where he’ll be up to a year from now:
“The marathon I was going to be running,” he said. “No, the marathon I will be running.”
As for the ambulance:
“Yeah you’ll see me back in that ambulance in the next couple of months,” he said with a smile.
Contributions to the fundraiser can be made through Venmo @SeymourEMS-SupportJosh.