The family of a window washer who fell 11 stories from the top of a San Francisco building has raised more than $70,000 in just 17 days, nearly four times what they had hoped.
"I just wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of my father," 19-year-old Monica Perez wrote on the family's fundraising page for her father, Pedro Perez, 58, of San Leandro. "It means a lot to us to know that we're not alone and that people are willing to give us what little they may have just to help us in this time of need."
As of Monday morning, a total of 1,155 people had raised $72,670, far surpassing the $20,000 goal the family had set.
Three days before Christmas, Perez's family spoke publicly for the first time since Perez fell 130 feet from the top of the Sterling Bank and Trust Building on Montgomery Street on Nov. 21, landing on a Toyota Camry. Ever since the fall, money has been tight for his wife and three daughters as Perez is the main breadwinner of the family.
While Perez has moved out of San Francisco General Hospital to a rehab in Pleasanton, he is still not able to walk after multiple surgeries, his family said. They said he also suffered extensive brain trauma.
Perez and his co-worker, who work for Century Window Cleaning in Concord, were helping other workers on a window washing scaffold by moving power cords on the roof, Cal-OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said. He fell, Melton said, while handling the power cords near the edge of the roof.
The "investigation is ongoing" and no fines have been issued at this point.
And while he has insurance, Perez's lost income from working is a huge blow. His wife, Marciela Perez, works in a plastics factory, and his daughter quit her college studies to become a home care worker to help support the family. The couple's other daughters, ages 16 and 11, are still in school.
Monica Perez said the money means she'll be able to go back to school in the summer.
Not only that, she wrote,"It also gives my father peace of mind to know that we won't have to struggle any longer with the bills and that we are going to be OK."