New York’s bravest are seeking a little help for one of their own.
After 38-year-old Michael Kurys severely injured his spinal chord earlier this year, members of Ladder 50 and Engine Company 89 are asking people from across the borough to come to a benefit dinner Thursday, October 14, at Villa Barone Manor.
Donations for Kurys can be sent to the ladder at 2924 Bruckner Boulevard.
Although Kurys, who lives on Maitland Avenue with his wife Deborah, has insurance through the FDNY, the payments do not cover all the costs of the medical bills and Kurys will need to renovate his home to make it wheelchair accessible.
“He’s a very proud man and he never would have asked for himself, so we’re asking for him,” Lieutenant Mike Piefer said in a press conference on Tuesday, October 5.
In late May, Kurys was trimming a tree in his back yard when a branch hit him in the head and sent him falling about 24 feet onto his back.
He severed his spine and in the following days failed to regain feeling from his mid-section down. Doctors performed multiple surgeries to try and relieve pressure from his head, but he faces the possibility of never using his legs again.
“He’s in good spirits,” said Gino Nuzzi, who has been a firefighter with the company for almost 20 years.
Although he is in a chair, Mike is continuing to fight the injury.
“He’s doing everything. Whatever insurance will pay for, he’s going to try,” Nuzzi said. “He can move his arms, and he’s got hope he’ll get out of the wheelchair in a year or two, but after that his chances dramatically go down.”
Kurys had been a firefighter protecting the Throggs Neck area for about eight years. He was a resident of the area for the same amount of time.
Nuzzi said the crew was in shock when they heard about the accident and immediately began organizing ways to support their fallen partner.
“We lost a big guy,” Nuzzi said. “He loved to do stuff. He was never sitting down, always had to get stuff done. It’s like a piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing.”
Shortly after the accident the fire company contacted Senator Jeff Klein, who joined the call for supporting Kurys.
“Every day throughout this city, firefighters selflessly answer the call to save lives,” Klein said. “Whenever one of the city’s bravest is in need it is our duty to do all that we can to honor their service. I encourage everyone to give what they can to help insure Mike gets the medical care and treatment he deserves.”