Harrison County

This construction worker fell 15 feet on the job and needs help. Here's how you can chip in.

Willie Castaing with Maranda Jones, Marissa Castaing and Haley Castaing. Willie was seriously injured this weekend while working on the future Patio 44 site. His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses and lost wages.
Willie Castaing with Maranda Jones, Marissa Castaing and Haley Castaing. Willie was seriously injured this weekend while working on the future Patio 44 site. His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses and lost wages.

A construction worker from Slidell, Louisiana, was working on the future site of Patio 44 restaurant in Gulfport on Saturday when he fell from a scissor lift.

While initial reports stated the man, later identified as Willie Castaing, merely broke an ankle, his family said his injuries were much worse.

A GoFundMe account has been started by his wife, Amy, to help with medical expenses and lost wages with a goal of $15,000. As of noon Wednesday, the account had already raised more than $7,000 in one day.

Amy Castaing, Willie's wife, said he fell 15 feet and was actually in and out of consciousness because of the pain.

Willie was taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, where they learned his left ankle had separated completely from the foot. Additionally, he broke his right ankle on the fall as well as broke his right shin in three places, an elbow and three vertebrates.

Amy said her husband underwent a third surgery Wednesday morning to clean out the ankle in an effort to battle infection. He had two previous surgeries to insert pins to try and stabilize the injury.

"He's a little in and out emotionally right now because he's not one to lay in bed," Amy said of her husband, a 45-year-old father of three daughters. "He's always one to help out, so this is difficult.

"(The doctors) said it's going to be a very, very long road."

His wife said Willie could be in the hospital for a month or longer due to surgeries and rehabilitation. According to the GoFundMe account, the family does not have health insurance and Amy, who works out of town, isn't leaving his side while he rehabs.

"If there's anything that you can donate toward these cost it would be greatly appreciated," she wrote on the account. "He is a man that would help anyone at anytime. Let's try to help him and his family in their time of need. Thanks again and God bless!"

Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said Saturday people heard a loud crashing noise and contacted officials. Firefighters responded and learned part of the building had collapsed, hitting the scissor lift Willie was operating.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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