BERKELEY – When a medical emergency lays you low, you need to be able to dedicate all your time and energy to getting better. It helps when your town has your back.
Megan Franzoso, who worked for the town’s first aid squad, suffered a medical emergency which wiped her out last year. She went into cardiac arrest and was on life support for two weeks.
But at the latest Berkeley Township Council meeting, she was standing there to thank the town for their help.
She is now going to Bancroft NeuroRehab regularly and is making progress, her family said. She didn’t do much of the talking, since she’s still on the mend. Her uncle Kevin Geoghegan spoke on behalf of the family, and read a letter from her mother, Deborah Franzoso.
“When Megan fell ill, your town rallied behind her, allowing township employees to donate sick time. Chief Karin DiMichele, Berkeley Township PBA, and EMT Unit held several fundraisers, with which several of you attended,” he said to the mayor and council.
The family took a moment to give additional thanks to the police chief, who also facilitated another fundraiser with the Manchester and Toms River police departments.
“Chief Karin Di Michele also responded to the hospital the night Megan went into cardiac arrest, to be there for her as well as a support for our family. There are no words to describe how grateful we are to her,” they said.
Various township employees helped the family navigate through the regulations to make sure that she would be taken care of. They highlighted Melanie Parks for helping Megan’s uncle with the paperwork and providing a contact in human resources. That contact, Tamara Goble, helped with all her insurance paperwork so she could start COBRA.
“Every step of our journey with Megan has been made much easier because of these township employees. They are to be commended. We can’t thank them enough,” they said. “We are proud that Megan worked for a great town called Berkeley Township.”
Franzoso’s family has had a long-time dedication to helping others. Going all the way back to grandparents, the family has a history of being lifesavers.
At the time of her incident, she worked for three squads – as a full-time emergency medical technician for Berkeley Township and part-time for the Tri-Boro and Silverton first aid squads.
In a previous interview, Deborah Franzoso told The Berkeley Times that beta blockers Megan had been taking for a rapid heart rate had contributed to a seizure and cardiac arrest. It turned out she was allergic to them.
Another uncle, Brian Geoghegan, set up a GoFundMe page for her shortly after the accident. As of this printing, more than $32,000 of the $75,000 has been raised. If you would like to donate, go to gofundme.com/megan039s-first-aid#.