Benefit to help firefighter battling medical bills - WNEM TV 5

Benefit to help firefighter battling medical bills

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A man who spent decades fighting to save others' lives suddenly found himself fighting for his own.

Now he is fighting mounting medical bills.

"He called me and said, 'I don't think I can drive home. I'm not feeling good,'" Sue Chartier  said.

She said she will never forget receiving the phone call that changed her life.

Her boyfriend Randy Roth is a bus driver with STARS. After work one night in October he suddenly felt ill and called Chartier to pick him up from work.

"By the time I got there he was shivering and shaking and bright red. And we called the ambulance and the ambulance said that his temp was almost 106," Chartier said.

They were told Roth had a staff infection in his blood stream and would have to be placed on a respirator.

The past four months have been a struggle. Roth said he has completely lost the use of his right leg and maybe all hope.

"Hopeless because I can't even go back to work. That's my problem and I want to go back to work," Roth said.

He said he has been to six different medical facilities since October all across the state. He said he is not sure how much longer he will be able to stay at the Heartland Health Care Center-Hampton before the money runs out.

That is where the Beaver Township Fire Department stepped in. Roth has been a volunteer firefighter with the department for more than 25 years. The department felt it was time the community returned the favor.

"We decided to put a benefit together for a pancake/sausage breakfast on Feb. 4, Superbowl Sunday. And this all came together with a committee and chairman that we put together within three weeks," Fire Chief Nick Tomczack said.

Tomczack said he and Roth are more than coworkers. It's a brotherhood.

"We're going to do our best and do what we can do to help a resident that's gave back 26 years to the community," Tomczack said.

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