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ALTON - An Alton family had a tragic event happen just prior to Thanksgiving and it has caused them tremendous hardship.

Durondo Phillips was struck by a large trunk/branch while tree trimming on November 21, 2021. Durondo and his wife, Guadalupe (Lupe) Phillips, are both deaf, and five of their six children at home are deaf. Miraculously, Durondo survived the accident. Durondo was the family provider and has been in the hospital most of the time since the incident.

"We are seeking prayer at this difficult time," his wife said. "My husband was life-flighted to a St Louis hospital after the accident, where he has undergone multiple surgeries. The doctors are shocked he survived this horrific accident, and that his skull is intact. There have been multiple surgeries and blood transfusions."

Guadalupe continued and said: "While cutting down a large trunk/branch of the tree, it broke off and hit his left side, beginning with his head which resulted in scalping, severe left eye injury (doctors are fighting to save), in addition to neck and spinal injuries. Three of our children witnessed the horrific accident."

Guadalupe said she is a stay-at-home mom raising their children. She said at this time, the family desperately needs financial contributions for medical expenses.

"We don’t know how we are going to survive financially at this time," she added. "There will be enormous out-of-pocket expenses that insurance does not cover. We are humbled in asking for these financial contributions."

Durondo has been released from the St. Louis hospital and is now recovering at home. The good news is he has no brain injuries or paralysis, his wife said. However, he will have to have multiple surgeries ahead, along with significant physical therapy. It is speculated it may take Durondo a year to recover.

"The plastic surgeon did an amazing job repairing the damage to the left side of his face, the top portion of his scalp, and the back portion of his head," his wife said. "He had surgery on his left eye and is recovering from fractures on his left upper and lower neck, and his spinal cord. The surgeons put six screws in his spine. He was discharged from the hospital and is home resting and recovering. He is making progress in his recovery."

Guadalupe said Durondo will be out of work through next year as he needs to fully recover and see clearly with his left eye.

"We appreciate any of your financial contributions, prayers, and support," she said. "The outpouring of love has given me the strength to keep strong for my husband and children at this turbulent time."

The Phillips children could also use toys for Christmas. Please reach out to the Alton School District to Catherine Elliott at (618) 977-9002 for any additional information. Sports is a big interest for the family, she said, so any type of athletic type of clothes would be appreciated.

Elliott reminded people this is an ongoing need for the Phillips family and also to not forget them in months ahead. Gift cards or household items would also be very beneficial, she said.

This is the list of Phillips children and their sizes:

Girl age 11

*Shirt- youth xl or junior size xs/s ..prefer solid color

*Pant- size junior 00/02 skinny jeans

*Coat- youth xl or junior size s

Boy age 16

*Pant men large prefer like basketball pant

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*Underwear men size large

*Shirt. Men size large or in a hooded sweatshirt

Girl age 17

* Coat. Junior medium

*Underwear junior medium

*Shoe. Slide bright color like pin. Women size 7

Boy age 12

*Pant men size small jogger

*Shirt men size small

* Socks men size prefer in black ankle

Boy age 14

*Shirt. Men size 2xl or in a hooded sweatshirt

*Socks. Men prefer black ankle

*(More shirt) men size 2xl

Boy age 13

* Shirt men in large or with a hooded sweatshirt

*Pant men size large jogger

*Coat men size large

To contribute this is the Gofundme page for the Phillips family click here:"

https://www.gofundme.com/f/tragic-accident-for-father-of-9?utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0yGwZ7zzp_Em-TVMcJo9UujzUhWFix6-u27SRZ8N7kpI8kEv0bItKPBZc

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If you have a news, human interest or sports idea, e-mail [email protected] or call or text 618-623-5930. Follow Dan Brannan on Facebook and on Twitter.

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