M/clear
43°
M/clear
Hi 56° | Lo 24°

New Ipswich

Fundraiser set for man recovering from 14-foot fall

  • Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers.

    Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers.

    Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers.
  • Jay Duthie of New Ipswich slipped and fell on his third day after being hired for a new construction job. Workman's compensation is assisting with the medical bills, but friends of Duthie have banded together to fundraise to assist Duthie with various other household bills while he recovers.

NEW IPSWICH — After being laid off for almost a month, Jay Duthie of New Ipswich finally caught a lucky break when he was hired by Arlen Construction in New Ipswich. The bills that he’d been getting behind on while out of work could now be paid. And with three kids to worry about, it was a weight off his mind. Until, only three days into his new job, disaster struck.

Duthie was working on framing a roof in New Ipswich, 14 feet off the ground. He moved to step from one beam to another, and his foot slipped off the beam, landing on a board he’d been nailing in place, sending both Duthie and the board tumbling to the ground.

At first all he could feel was a pain in his tongue, where he’d bitten it on impact, Duthie said in an interview at his New Ipswich home on Thursday. But that was the most minor of his injuries. Then, he felt pain in his hip. That had been badly bruised. It wasn’t until he attempted to stand up that he realized his biggest problem — his foot.

Duthie came away from his accident with four broken bones in his foot, a torn ligament in his leg, bruises and a puncture in his hand, which required a few stitches to close. His leg, now enclosed in a day-glo orange cast, will keep him from work and out of his position as a volunteer firefighter for the town for at least another two months, he said. Seeing Duthie’s plight, family friend decided to put together a fundraiser for the family, asking the community to assist with paying their household expenses until Duthie is able to recover from his fall and get back to his job.

“I wasn’t even on the ground yet, and I was thinking, ‘Three days. That’s all I got,’” recalled Duthie. “I’m the weird guy that does the math, and it takes less than a second to fall 14 feet. But when you’re falling, it feels like 15.”

Because of where two of the broken bones in his foot are located, Duthie will need surgery to stabilize them with pins while they heal. “I told the doctor, ‘I don’t want surgery,’” said Duthie. “She said, ‘You’ll need it if you want to walk again.’”

Even though he hadn’t been on the job long enough to qualify for insurance, workman’s compensation will be covering Duthie’s medical costs. But he’s still out of work for at least another eight weeks, and the side jobs that he would have taken on to help make ends meet are no longer an option for him. With bills still outstanding from his time out of work, it was a worrying prospect, he said. Duthie’s girlfriend, Lacy LaRock, works part-time.

When family friend Mary Parhiala heard of Duthie’s fall, she said she knew that it was one more thing heaped onto an already tough situation. She wanted to do something to help.

“On Sunday night, I couldn’t sleep. I was just trying to think of a way to help them out,” Parhiala said in a phone interview Friday. She recalled seeing people attempt to raise funds for causes through Facebook.com, and decided to see if she could get the community involved to help Duthie pay his rent and other household bills. She got on the computer and started a fundraiser, asking people to give what they could to help the family. Within a week, neighbors and friends had raised $830, enough to pay off Duthie’s current outstanding bills. She hopes to be able to raise enough to assist with the family’s next two months of rent and propane payment, she said.

“He’s been working really hard to catch up on bills and provide for his family,” said Parhiala. “I think they deserve a break after all they’ve been through.”

He and his family are grateful for the assistance, Duthie said, and for the assistance of those who have watched his children while he’s at doctor’s appointments and have dropped off food while he’s been off his feet.

Since his accident, Duthie’s movement had been pretty limited, he said, which is the most frustrating part for him. “I miss having the time with the kids,” he said. “My son is almost 4 years old, and I can’t just get up and get him if he’s crying. I can’t go on fire calls, and that’s killing me. I heard a fire truck go by the other day, and I said, ‘I want to go.’ I just want to be able to walk again.”

For more information, or to donate to the fundraiser, see www.gofundme.com/56vt48.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on twitter @AshleySaari..

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.