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Fundraiser set for crash victim who faces extensive rehab

Joey Flores is recovering from car accident. | Supplied photo

Joey Flores is recovering from a car accident. | Supplied photo

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What: Just 4 Joey benefit for Jose “Joey” Flores

Where: 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park

When: 3 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6

Information: Tickets $25 in advance or $30 at the door for adults; $10 in advance or $15 at the door for ages 6 to 20. Contact Juanita Hunt at (708) 870-0753 or email just4joey@comcast.net.

Etc.: Donate to the Just 4 Joey benefit at Archer Bank, 3435 W. 111th St., Chicago; (773) 840-2000.

Updated: August 26, 2014 2:12AM



A devastating, deadly car accident March 30 left Jose “Joey” Flores, 19, of Alsip, with severe injuries that kept him in Loyola Hospital’s intensive care unit for 27 days, and he spent an additional 15 days in RML Specialty Hospital, according to Flores’ aunt, Juanita Hunt.

“He doesn’t even remember being in Loyola,” Hunt said.

Flores’ girlfriend, Cassie Hense, 17, who was driving when the single-car accident occurred, was killed on impact. Flores suffered a fractured skull and fractured jaw, and his spleen and one kidney had to be removed, Hunt said.

Although Flores is home with his mother and stepfather, Maria and Bill Lanenga, of Alsip, he is facing more physical therapy, extensive dental work and possible plastic surgery, and Hunt said Flores is still experiencing problems with his remaining kidney.

To help cover the expenses of his medical care, Hunt, Colleen Herrera and Tina Alexander have organized “Just 4 Joey,” a fundraiser to be held Sept. 6 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park.

The event will include a split-the-pot raffle and a silent auction with items including an autographed photo of the Cubs’ Travis Woods and one of the White Sox’s Tyler Flowers, gift cards from area businesses, a free room at Baymont Inn & Suites Chicago/Alsip, and a tool set from Home Depot, among other items.

Flores’ friend Alec Manzo, of Alsip, will be the disc jockey.

Hunt said Flores, a recent graduate of Shepard High School in Palos Heights, has not yet been medically cleared to return to work and school. He was enrolled at Universal Technical Institute and employed by Honda of Lisle at the time of the accident, she said.

“He’s a good kid. He was an Eagle Scout. He’s a really good kid,” Hunt said.

She said the family has had a “rough two years.”

“My sister had open-heart surgery and for some reason it got infected and she was in the hospital for five months. She’s been in the hospital five times in the last two years,” Hunt said.

Hunt said even more devastating for Maria Lanenga was to learn that Flores had died at the scene of the accident and was resuscitated.

“Joey said he actually saw ‘the light,’ ” Hunt said.

Maria Lanenga said the family is grateful for all the prayers and support of friends and family throughout the ordeal. She said they are still mourning the loss of Hense, “a sweetheart ... full of life and love.”

“I am so blessed with Joey, my husband Bill and great family and friends,” Lanenga said.



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