Fundraiser started for Schaumburg man who lost leg while helping stranger
Frank Tereza, a 49-year-old Schaumburg man, was helping a stranger push a disabled car last Saturday evening in Hoffman Estates when he was struck by another car and gruesomely injured.
Michael Tereza, Frank's older brother, said Friday that doctors at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge had to amputate his brother's left leg in order to save his life.
Michael Tereza said both his brother's legs were crushed in the crash. He's undergone three surgeries and is scheduled to go through a fourth on Monday. The procedures in part are to try to save his remaining leg, though doctors aren't sure they will be able to, Michael Tereza said.
To help support Frank Tereza, Michael's children Abriana Tereza, 18, and Jacobbe Tereza, 16, started an online fundraiser for their uncle at gofundme.com/f/frank-tereza-fund. Since launching the drive on Thursday the family has already raised just over $3,300.
The crash happened at 6:27 p.m. last Saturday at Barrington and Bode roads and remains under investigation by the Hoffman Estates Police Department's traffic division and the Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team. Police did not reply to a request for an update into the investigation on Friday.
Michael Tereza said he and his brother were raised to always help people when possible and he knows Frank Tereza has helped many drivers over the years jump dead batteries and move disabled cars.
Michael Tereza said he heard from family that Frank Tereza was driving with his daughter Britney Tereza and he saw there was a driver needing help. He pulled over and told his daughter to wait while he helped out. Britney Tereza, 23, was on the phone with a family member when she heard the crash.
Because of the global pandemic, Michael Tereza hasn't been able to visit his brother.
"It is very strict and under no circumstances is anyone allowed up there," Michael Tereza said. "Even his own wife struggled to get up there. She was able to be there when he was on a respirator and unable to speak for himself."
Michael Tereza said he and his brother are both truck drivers and said he's worried that Frank Tereza won't ever be able to return to work.
"I'm sure he's just thankful to be on Earth," Michael Tereza said. "He's not ready to go yet."