Hollywood firefighter David Avilez was seriously injured in a skim-boarding accident last week, and so a sister-in-law, in search of prayers, has set up a Facebook page for him.
“The outpouring of prayers and love has been AMAZING,” wrote Madelyn Gonzalez in an e-mail to the Sun Sentinel.
Avilez landed on his head doing a flip while skim boarding in the surf on Hollywood beach Thursday, according to his wife, Priscilla Avilez.
Emergency responders placed a collar around his neck to immobilize it, inserted a tube in his mouth to help him breathe and rushed him to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. Doctors ran tests and found a serious fracture in his neck, which required the six-hour procedure Friday.
His family has been holding a prayer vigil at the hospital ever since.
“I cannot even tell you the amount of praying and love that has occurred over the last couple of days.” Gonzalez wrote.
Avilez, 31, and his wife of nine years, Priscilla, 31, live in Miramar with Katia, their 19-month-old daughter, and two boys, Deren, 6, and Dylan, 3.
Despite his condition, the four-year Hollywood Fire Rescue veteran has not lost his sense of humor.
“Even though he is going through all this, he still tries to joke around with his wife, (he can’t talk so he stuck out his tongue at her, when she told him to stop biting down on his mouth tube),” Gonzalez explained in the e-mail.
The Facebook page Gonzalez created had hundreds of expressions of support by Sunday afternoon.
“I just wanted to share this page with you because we hear so many negative things about human beings in our society all the time,” she wrote. “But there is still wonderful, loving people who do unselfish things, and take care of one another. We don’t hear about that as often as we should.”
The Facebook page is at: http://www.facebook.com/prayersforderek.