MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A paraplegic man is appealing for the public’s help after a terrible accident left him hospitalized and separated from his beloved service dog. He is now worried about their future.
CBS4’S Neighbors4Neighbors is assisting 55-year-old Carlos Roque as he is recovering at Baptist Hospital in Kendall after suffering a broken rib when the ceiling of the apartment where he was staying in a Southwest Miami-Dade collapsed on September 6th.READ MORE: Attorney For Key Ally Of Venezuela Leader's Nicolas Maduro Called His Extradition To The US Illegal
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Roque said, “I feel like I am in a lot of pain. I am worried because I only have two or three more days in the hospital and I don’t know where I am going to go. I broke my hip and it happened when the roof collapsed.”
His 4 1/2-year-old service dog, a Belgian Malinois named Max, rescued him from the debris that fell on him.
Roque said, “I don’t have any place where I can go. They want to send me to a shelter but I can not go there with my dog. I am very scared. I worry that if I sleep in my car I am not safe and I don’t know what could happen to me and I have my dog with me at night seeing and I am afraid that something is going to happen to us.”
”What I need is an apartment that I can afford,” he said. “That would mean everything to me. It would mean everything. I am in a wheelchair.”
Roque has been paraplegic ever since he was shot in an armed robbery in 1995.READ MORE: Haiti Gang With Past Abductions Blamed For Kidnapping Missionaries
Katy Meagher, the Executive Director of Neighbors4Neighbors, said “He is self-sustaining and takes care of all of his resources and lives on his own and has never asked for anything before. We need to find an apartment that will allow him and his service dog. He will be able to get back on his feet. It’s just about finding him a place to live and getting him some money so he can move there by himself. Most people don’t have those costs and to have a roof collapse.”
”Thank God his dog pulled him from the debris,” she said.
“As Neighbors4Neighbors, that’s what we do,” she said. “We come in and when there is a crisis, we help those who are struggling the most. If anyone deserves it, it is Carlos.”
If you would like to help, go to the website Neighbors4Neighbor.org. It will show you how you can donate to help Roque and his dog Max.
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Roque says he will be leaving Baptist Hospital in Kendall in two or three days.