- An accident can change someone's life in a matter of seconds. A Northwoods teen had to put his job, school, and friends on hold after he was hit head on by a car.
Joey Balocca didn't know his life would change when he got on his motorcycle to drive home last summer.
"It was about 10:30 at night. I was coming home from my girlfriend's birthday. Then, out of nowhere a suburban pulled out and hit me head on. It came right into my lane," says Balocca. "My leg was basically crushed between my bike and the suburban."
A nearby neighbor heard the crash.
"We were sitting in my backyard, which is about 600 yards from the site of the accident," explained William Nosek. "We heard a sound that sounded like someone hit a piece of plywood with a 2x4."
Nosek knew he needed to help.
"I jumped in my car and ran down [to the accident.] I have a little bit of training in that and I thought maybe I could help until the paramedics got there," says Nosek.
Balocca was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. His leg was badly hurt and his life was put on hold.
"I was going to start going to college. My original plan was to start going to Nicolet," says Balocca. "But, all of that had to be put off to the side for months and months of recovery, and just learning how to walk again."
After months of recovery, Balocca was able to walk again, but he still can't do everything he used to.
"I can't fully squat down, I can't bend my knee is certain ways," says Balocca. "I can't sit on my knees. It just hurts and it doesn't feel comfortable."
Balocca's family went to the scene of the accident and met Nosek. After talking with the family, he wanted to do something to help.
"College is not cheap so every little bit of help we can do, we'll certainly try to help," says Nosek.
Nosek decided to set up a fundraiser at the Grand Opening of his business. He set up donation boxes throughout the store. On September 26th, he'll use his store to raise more money.
"We're going to run an auction specifically for his benefit," says Nosek. "Just to help raise an extra few dollars to cover expenses and things for this young man."
Nosek's help has already allowed Balocca to go back to school. He's enrolled at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He's grateful for caring neighbors like Nosek.
"I like to hear that this is happening. It means a lot to me," says Balocca. "I never expected this to happen. It's just very nice."
If you want to donate any items for the auction, you can call (715) 420-2005.
|Story By: Karolina Buczek