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Fundraising effort established to help Richard Perry recover from serious injury

Richard Perry, left, his wife, Gina and two of their three children. Richard was hurt in an accident in California.

SAN DIEGO, August 29 — Middletown High graduate Richard Perry, the No. 3 ranked wrestler in the nation at 86 kilograms (189 pounds), was injured in an accident on Monday night in California where he was training with the U.S. national team in San Diego.

A Go-Fund-Me page has been set up by a family friend to help Richard and his family with expenses as he recovers from the injury. In the first 21 hours of the campaign, more than 800 donors had contributed nearly $60,000.

According to a Go-Fund-Me page, Perry suffered a head injury. He has been transferred to a top neurological hospital in California but doctors are waiting for the swelling to subside before they can perform surgery.

He will need to be in California for three-to-six months for recovery and rehabilitation.

Perry lives in Philadelphia and trains the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center (RTC). Perry is a leader within USA Wrestling, serving on its Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

Richard Perry and his wife, Gina, have three children. Gina and their youngest child flew to San Diego to be with Richard. Their two older children staying with grandparents in Pennsylvania.

“During this trying time the Perry family will need our help financially and spiritually,” family friend Jessica Miller writes on the Go-Fund-Me page. “Rich is a family man first and a full-time athlete second. Obviously, he will not be able to work while recovering.

“The Perry family will need help with the expenses from traveling, time off from work that both Rich and Gina will have to take, as well as day-to-day life expenses. This is a life-changing event. Rich and Gina are so strong, but we shouldn’t let them go through this alone. Please help in any way you can,” Miller said.

Richard Perry, left, and current Middletown High head coach Mark Fong.

In June, Perry earned a spot on the U.S. national team for the first time with a 7-4 victory over former Iowa State wrestler Pat Downey.

USA Wrestling hosts national team “True Third Place” wrestle-offs to determine the third spot on the national team. It occurs when the second place finisher and third place finishers at the recent U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge tournament did not meet in the tournament.

Perry finished second in the Challenge Tournament at 86 kilograms (189 pounds) in May to North Carolina State’s Nick Reenan. Downey had taken third in that Challenge tournament.

Perry graduated from Middletown High in 2008, where he wrestled for two seasons. As a senior, he won the Class L and State Open title at 215 pounds and was second in New England. In 2009, he spent a year at Hyde-Woodstock and finished second in New England (215).

He wrestled for four years at Bloomsburg University (2011-14), qualifying for the NCAA Tournament three times and posting a career record of 110-30.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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