The wife of a San Leandro window washer who survived an 11-story fall from a San Francisco building in November is asking for donations to support her three daughters, who are facing a meager holiday season. Maricela Perez, 38, and her 11-year-old daughter, Gaby, appeared at an Oakland news conference Monday morning to ask for help in replacing the wages her husband has lost since he landed on a car Nov. 21.
Perez said her 58-year-old husband, Pedro Perez, broke his right arm, fractured his pelvis, ruptured an artery in his arm and suffered severe brain trauma. He still can’t move his right arm or his right leg. He’s had “surgery after surgery,” his wife said through an interpreter and was in an induced coma for an entire week because the pain was so great.
When she got the first phone call, Perez was told her husband was dead. It was only in the car on her way to San Francisco that she received a second call telling her he was alive.”His eyes were shut for an entire week,” Perez said. “At first when he woke up, he could only say a few words and couldn’t remember familiar faces, and his memory would fail him. But now he is calling us by our names and has conversations.”
Perez said her husband has left a hospital intensive care unit and is preparing to enter a rehabilitation facility in Pleasanton, a stay that could last months. “But now Pedro is not working, and the family has encountered very difficult times,” said Colin O’Leary, a translator at the news conference and organizer for Perez’s union, Service Workers International Union. “Maricela works in a plastic factory at night and has had to take on extra hours. Her 19-year-old daughter had to quit college to start working and make ends meet.”
O’Leary said Perez has health insurance and that his hospital bills and rehabilitation are going to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. He also is receiving disability payments, but it won’t be enough. O’Leary said Perez at first didn’t remember working the day he fell. He only remembered working on the Monday before the accident, which happened on a Friday.Police have said Perez was moving equipment on the top of the building for Concord-based Century Window Cleaning, where he worked for 12 years, when he fell. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the accident, but won’t have any findings about how Perez fell for about six months, O’Leary said. “I haven’t had a conversation with him about it,” O’Leary said. “When he’s sitting there in the hospital, it’s not something I want to ask him, and he hasn’t opened up about it.”
The Perez family is accepting donations through the website Go Fund Me athttp://www.gofundme.com/ir2rpw.
Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.