For the last 20 days, Dorchester resident Kevin Cellucci has been in a coma.
The finish carpenter was on the way to a job site on September 6, when a vehicle careened over the road’s lane markings along a winding stretch of the Arborway, hitting Cellucci’s truck head-on, and sending him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Cellucci was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his family now spends most of their days hoping—and praying—that Cellucci wakes up. “It’s tough to handle. It’s tough. And it’s very challenging,” said Pete Alvarado, Cellucci’s cousin, and godfather to one of his sons.
Cellucci’s wife, Tina, recently gave birth to the couple’s third son just eight weeks ago, and now, Alvarado is worried that the little boy will never hear his father’s voice again. “Tina is holding up very well. Having the kids, she has to be strong,” he said. “But he hasn’t woken up yet, so he isn’t out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. They basically said that the probability might not be as good. His injuries to his brain were pretty serious. It’s brutal. The toughest part is, we don’t know how long this will be.”
Because Cellucci’s day job as a carpenter with the Local 40 union brought in the majority of money for his family, and he is now unable to work, those close to him—spearheaded by Alvarado—have started pitching in any way they can to help the family out. “The medical expenses will probably be astronomical. And they have the three boys, and they don’t have the income that he would have brought in,” said Alvarado.
People have been donating their time, babysitting for Tina, and have also supplied food and other goods to the Celluccis in their time of need. A fundraiser was also started on Cellucci’s behalf, called the Kevin Cellucci Foundation, bringing in thousands of dollars to help offset some of the expenses the family is expecting to deal with. “We have always been a really close family, but this has brought us even closer. And with the outreach of all types of people, it’s a reflection of who Kevin is. He is just a great guy, and people really just want to help,” said Alvarado.
On Saturday, November 2, a raffle and get together to show support for Cellucci will be held in Dorchester. Alvarado hopes that it will bring in additional funds to support Tina and the boys.
The family got some airtime on WAAF recently, to help get the word out about the fundraiser, bringing its total up by more the $17,000, according to Alvarado. “Everyone has been awesome. We have a crew of us that have been here [at the hospital every day], and are always up here. Friends—they aren’t letting up at this point. Kevin lives for his family, and he has a smile that would light up a room…and everyone is just pulling together to do as much as we can for him.”
The aftermath of the crash lead to negligent operation of a motor vehicle and speeding charges filed against the 18-year-old West Roxbury driver, Nikolas Papadopoulos, who allegedly smashed into Cellucci’s Ford F-150.
Papadopoulos was travelling westbound on the state roadway at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, according to officials, when his vehicle jumped the median strip, began to roll, and collided with the truck.
While the situation is dire, and Alvardo and Cellucci’s immediate family have been pained by the experience, Alvarado said he harbors no negative feelings towards the driver of the car that sent his cousin to the hospital. “It is reckless, but in the end, there is no anger going anywhere because it’s not going to change the situation,” he said.
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