BINGHAMTON, NY – The community is rallying around a Vestal man who was paralyzed in a swimming accident over the summer.
A pasta dinner will be held on Sunday January 19th at the Vestal Elks Club to benefit James Battaglini.
Battaglini broke his neck when he struck a hidden sandbar while diving into the ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey back in August.
His life was likely saved by an off-duty firefighter who immediately provided medical attention.
However, he damaged his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
Battaglini’s injury occurred just weeks before he was set to marry his fiance Joanna Puzakulics .
She has been by his side ever since as he goes through rehab in Philadelphia.
Family friend John Gardner says people want to see him recover enough that they can reschedule the wedding.
“Great guy. He’ll make a good family man. He’s always willing to help anybody. He’s always been friendly with us and a good person to be around,” says Gardner.
Friends and family have dubbed their support “Battstrong.”
Battaglini is an avid outdoorsman and works as a carpenter at Binghamton University.
The pasta dinner begins at noon on the 19th at the Vestal Elks Club located at 2071 Vestal Parkway West.
There will be basket raffles, a 50/50 and a deejay.
Admission is $10 and takeout is available.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling Gardner at 743-5434.
A Go Fund Me Page has raised nearly $60,000 for Battaglini.
Click here to donate.