The Oelwein man found unconscious outside of his porch after hours in dangerous cold last Wednesday is awake and talking. He’s even posted a video on Facebook with the help of his brother, Anthony Ricchio.
“I just wanted to say hi to everybody,” TJ Ricchio says. “My voice isn’t very good but at least I have a voice. Everybody take care and I’ll talk to everybody soon.”
He is in the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, according to Anthony Ricchio, who added that TJ remembers everything up to the point he became unconscious, which might have been the result of him hitting his head a couple of weeks back and not being checked out medically then.
TJ has received a lot of family and community support, including from former classmates and his employer, East Penn, and co-workers, Anthony said.
The brothers also recently lost their father, Tom Ricchio, 64, who died Jan. 21.
Anthony said his brother is facing months of recovery in the hospital, but he has had positive signs. TJ has wiggled his fingers and toes, Anthony said.
Anyone interested in assisting with TJ’s medical bills should contact Community Bank in Oelwein.
A passing motorist spotted TJ and the ambulance crew found him was unresponsive on his front porch shortly after noon Jan. 30. The midday temperature was 22 degrees below zero with wind chill at between 30 and 35 below.