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Huntington Community Rallying to Help Injured 24-Year-Old

Emily Progin, Content Manager / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


A Wave Left Dominic Cataldo with Paralysis in August – Donations Fund Recovery

HUNTINGTON, N.Y.—On August 6, 24-year-old Dominic Cataldo was swimming in the ocean in Montauk. What happened next would change his life forever. Dominic was hit by a wave, sustaining a spinal cord injury. As he navigates life with paralysis and diligently pursues recovery, his Huntington community is coming together to provide support through a medical fundraising campaign with the nonprofit Help Hope Live.

Dominic was caught off guard by a wave while enjoying the beach with his friends and brother for his birthday. He was carried out of the water by his friends. Unable to feel his lower body, Dominic was immediately airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in Long Island where he was diagnosed with a T9 spinal cord injury.

Dominic is a lifelong Huntington resident who graduated from Huntington High School in 2017. He works as a UPS driver.

Today, he is unable to move or feel his lower body below his belly button. “He is still learning to navigate his wheelchair and complete other activities of daily living,” explained Katie Zimmerman, Dominic’s sister. “He is extremely determined to work hard as he navigates recovery.”

Dominic diligently pursued inpatient rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Massachusetts to maximize his chances of regaining mobility and independence. Dominic’s mother stayed in a hotel in Somerville and visited him every day.

Unfortunately, insurance won’t fully cover the expenses associated with Dominic’s injury. His family has had to take on out-of-pocket costs including his mother’s hotel stay, extensive home modifications for wheelchair access, hospital costs, medications, rehabilitation, and more. That’s why Dominic’s family turned to the trusted medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live.

Donations can be made at:

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin