Church fundraising to help man regain sight
Blinded by attack in Hayden, Jose Mendoza needs money for surgery
Steamboat Springs — The donation plate at Hayden Congregational Church will make another circuit during Sunday services this week in a bid to help a Craig man regain his eyesight.
Jose Mendoza already was blind in his left eye when he was dragged from his car and beaten by another man in March of 2008 in Hayden. Eduardo Gallegos-Reyes reportedly hit Mendoza in his right eye with a set of keys. That attack left Mendoza with a retina problem that will take thousands of dollars to repair. Gallegos-Reyes was charged with first-degree assault.
For two years, Mendoza was completely blind, said his wife, Mayola Cruz, but the work of several doctors gave him 25 percent of his vision. Another surgery, with a cost of $20,000, will help him restore as much as 75 percent of his vision in that eye.
To get the process started, doctors said they are requiring only a down payment of $5,000, but it must be ready by Sept. 30.
When Pastor Janet Babish showed up to the church one Sunday, Mendoza was sitting outside with his visa, his immigration paperwork and a letter from his doctor. He didn’t speak much English, but he made it clear that he was making an appeal to the church.
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Church office administrator Danielle Campbell said they have raised $780 at the church, and they hope to raise more this weekend. They will pass that money to the Colorado Retina Associates in Denver to help pay for the surgery.
Cruz said her husband, 47, used to own a business and was doing well in Hayden until the attack. After the attack, he could no longer work, and they have been forced to live with friends in Craig for two years.
She said for a long time her husband thought he never would regain his eyesight, but doctors told him there was a chance, if he hurries.
For more information from the church, or to donate, call 970-276-3510.
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