Fundraiser this weekend to raise money for BRPD officer involved in accident
BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge Police Officer is on a journey of recovery after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident earlier this year.
The needs of Officer Rickey Faust have changed significantly since March.
"I just thank god I'm still here," he said.
Faust, who gets around in a motorized wheelchair says he's blessed and determined to walk again. But while he's recovering and gaining strength, he needs some help to reach his goal.
On March 21, 2017, Faust's life changed. He was involved in a single-car crash responding to a call and swerved to avoid a car that changed lanes. Faust hit a concrete barrier.
Each day, there's a new challenge he must overcome but he's working on it one muscle movement at a time. Faust says his doctors told him he'd only have a 20 percent chance of breathing on his own and proved them wrong.
"I can move my toes and stuff," he said. "I've come a long ways."
Faust and his family have had to overcome many obstacles over the last few months. The Faust family is living in a temporary townhouse that is equipped for his needs while a permanent housing solution is found. Their permanent home is unsuitable to live in since being damaged by the August 2016 flood. Right now, the most immediate need is a van that can accommodate his wheelchair and family.
Without a van of their own, it's difficult to get around town. Faust goes to physical therapy five days a week and he's been taking Yellow Cab to and from. Family outings are rare and can come with a steep price tag.
"They're having to use public transportation," said Cpl. Rendy Richard. "When we found out that they're paying $50 to go take their family to church, I don't understand. We need to do better."
The Baton Rouge Police Department says Faust will need a full size 12 person van with modifications to accommodate his wheelchair and his family. Workman's comp insurance tells BRPD it will pay for the modifications needed if the Faust family can purchase a van.
"He's a hero, I feel like we need to stand up and do something for him," said Richard.
To get the funds needed, BRPD along with non-profit organizations Back the Blue, Behind the Line BR and the Magnolia Peace Officers Association is holding a fundraiser. The event, "A Christmas of Hope," will be at BRPD headquarters, 9000 Airline Highway, on Sunday, December 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. People can buy 4" ornaments to be hung on the "Tree of Hope" in their name. An ornament costs $20. Large ornaments to be hung around the department headquarters will be sold for a donation of $100 and can be ordered online here.
"I'm going to vow to walk again," said Faust. "It might not be the prettiest walk in the world, I might have leg braces on, but that's my vow."
For a man who's only ever wanted to do one thing, which is helping people, this is a way to return the favor.
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