Freak accident puts North Port family among those in need

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NORTH PORT - We've told you about the need for holiday donations in North Port. Friday we're taking a look at someone receiving the help and why it's so important -- a family doing all the right things until a freak accident.

Six months ago Iris Romano snapped her ankle and both bones in one of her legs. "It could happen to anybody. I mean a fun day can turn into the worst nightmare."

The incident happened going down a slide at the local Sun-N-Fun resort. She says a worker shaking it is to blame. It has left her with multiple surgeries, unable to walk, and now an infection in her arm. "My daily life consists of getting up and sitting in a wheelchair. Trying to do whatever I can from a wheelchair. There is not a whole lot I can do."

The mother of four has also been unable to work her job delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service; a job she had gone to six days a week for the past 10 years. "I miss my job. I really truly miss my job."

Her sick and vacation time is all used up. And with no disability she has had to give up their home. "I've lost my house. My lease was up and I am not able to renew it because I don't have money to pay it."

She moved in with her boyfriend, who also has a child. Times are tough.

With Christmas coming, a local program is looking to offer assistance. "Asking somebody for help kills me inside. I have to swallow my pride a little bit. That is hard for me."

Thursday the city of North Port kicked off its 12 Days of Giving, looking to help those like Romano, says Sherry Borgsdorf with the city. "Holiday time I think is an important time where we can maybe give a little bit more."

More than 1,100 local kids have been signed up. Items can be dropped off at City Hall. Needs are toys for kids up to 14. Food for holiday meals. Also, hygiene products for homeless students. "There is a lot of need out there. A lot of our neighbors are really struggling for all sorts of different reasons. Also, North Port is very giving."

Looking for a little help from strangers for families who might never of thought they would need it says Romano. "I think what they are doing is wonderful. I just hope that all the kids in North Port who need it get help. Christmas is about kids."

You have until December 9th to bring the items to City Hall.