Friends of Jamie Lake are coming together to offer a Sunday evening full of tantalizing entertainment for only $5 per adult, in hopes that the event will get their injured buddy back on his feet again.
“I didn’t realize how many friends I really had until this happened,” Lake said.
Five months ago, he fell 30 feet off a ladder and scaffolding, while working as a painter. He landed primarily on his feet. The terrifying fall shattered most of the bones in both feet — 40 different breaks in his left foot and 15 breaks in his right. Lake also suffered from 12 different breaks in his left wrist, along with a dislocated radius bone.
“I can only assume my weight caused the scaffolding to shift and the ladder to come out from under me,” he surmised about the accident. “I find it amazing I didn’t break anything else.”
Since the fall on Nov. 8, Lake has been in a wheelchair and undergone five reconstructive surgeries to install a titanium plate and 11 screws in his wrist, as well as reconstructing the bones in his feet.
“I’m still healing,” he said.
The father of three daughters — ages 15, 10 and 5 — has relied on his family for mental strength, while he works at gaining his physical strength back. Lake will be able to walk again someday, but for now, he and his wife of 16 years, Monica, are struggling to pay their bills and mounting medical debt. Lake has been a self-employed handyman for the past 10 years and was without health insurance. The 24-hour care he required, until recently, made it impossible for Monica to work.
“I want to be able to support my family again,” he said.
To help the Golden Gate Estates residents in their time of need, several friends are hosting a fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Collier County Fairgrounds, located on Immokalee Road. For the small price of admission, attendees will enjoy live musical performances, professional wrestling matches, an antique and muscle car show, motorcycles and experience a redneck dunk tank.
There will be arts and crafts and face-painting for the children. Those 10 years of age and younger enter at no charge. In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle, along with several other activities.
“I consider myself lucky,” Lake said. “My wife has been strong and kept a smile throughout it all. My girls have been a big help and keep me focused mentally.”
A Lake Family Recovery Fund has been established at Regions Bank branches for those who cannot attend and would like to make a donation.
“I have a whole new way of looking at things,” Lake concluded.
He may never walk the same again, but is determined to be back on his feet soon.