Man paralyzed by falling debris

August 25, 2008 3:48:38 PM PDT
A Chicago man is hospitalized, paralyzed from the neck down, after he says he was hit by a piece of falling masonry along a Chicago street. His family says he was injured while saving a woman from getting hit by the falling debris. Thirty-two-year-old Rogelio Rodriguez is in intensive care. His family is hoping to find the woman he saved from getting hurt.

Chicago police confirm there was some type of accident near 22nd and Damen earlier this month next to a building under construction. It's not clear yet what exactly happened, but a Pilsen woman says the accident left her husband paralyzed.

Amelia Rodriquez says her husband, 32-year-old Rogelio Rodriguez, is a hero because he told her he pushed a woman out of the way of a falling slab of concrete to save her life and was injured instead. Rodriguez says her husband is now paralyzed from the chest down and is in intensive care at Stroger Hospital

"He's very friendly. He would do anything for anybody even if he didn't know the person. He would help that person. Now my family is in deep pain, because my husband will help anybody and is lying here in a hospital," said Amelia Rodriguez, accident victim's wife.

"The lady, he saved her life, she hasn't said thank you or done anything," said Carmen Rodriguez, accident victim's sister.

Amelia Rodriguez says her husband is a creature of habit and would always come home at the same time. She said that on August 15, in the evening, her husband was walking home going west near Cermak and Damen when a slab of concrete fell off a building.

"Why a man just walking down the street -- just somebody walking by a building, their lives can change dramatically from one second to the next. One moment he's ready for supper and the next moment, he is lying in a hospital bed paralyzed," said Amelia Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says her husband is the bread winner of the family and has a 9-year old daughter and elderly parent he has cared for.

Amelia Rodriguez says her husband is able to talk and remembers clearly what happened. She says he is in a great deal of pain and is facing surgery.


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