Richard Perry, the Middletown High graduate who made the U.S. national team in June and was seriously injured in a U.S. team training camp accident in August, continues to make remarkable progress in his recovery.
He was interviewed by Andy Hamilton of TrackWrestling.com just before Christmas. Perry discusses the injury and his recovery. You can see the video here.
In August, he was training with the U.S. national team in San Diego when he was hurt in a freak accident. According a story by Hamilton, Perry was involved in a drill with foam-padded clubs. He took a shot to the face and the foam protection dislodged. The baton slipped through a hole in his facemask and struck him the eye, causing trauma to the brain.
After he was hurt, Perry was unable to walk, talk or eat on his own. Doctors initially thought he would need three to six months to recover in California before he could return to his home in Philadelphia.
Perry spent four weeks in a San Diego hospital before being flown across the country to Philadelphia. He has spent several weeks in a Philadelphia-area hospital undergoing physical therapy. He has been released from the hospital but is still undergoing physical therapy.
Perry and his wife, Gina, have three young children and live in the Philadelphia area. Gina Perry has been keeping his family, friends and the wrestling community informed on Richard’s progress through Facebook.
“In November, despite the medical evidence and what modern day medicine suggested would be our path, we welcomed Rich home as he walked out of the rehabilitation center just three months after the incident occurred,” Gina wrote. “In December, we were able to celebrate Christmas with friends and family as Rich’s recovery continued to progress with jogging, improvement in his memory and his speech almost entirely back to normal. Christmas morning was filled with a lot of smiles and a ton of love, knowing that this year we were given the best gift ever—a miracle.”
A Go Fund Me fundraiser to help the family with expenses has raised more than $138,000 from more than 2,000 donors.
Rudis, a wrestling apparel company, launched a fundraising campaign for the Perry family. Rudis is selling “Richard Perry Overcomer” T-shirts for $35 with all proceeds going to the family. It is currently out of stock.
“I am incredibly thankful for our family, but also for the entire wrestling community who has supported and lifted our family up in prayer a thousand times this year,” Gina Perry wrote on Facebook. “2018 was a year of change, of hope and of answered prayers and many miracles. I am certain 2019 is going to be a year of growth, a year of love and a year of blessings.”
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 State (2011-14), qualifying for the NCAA Tournament three times and posting a career record of 110-30.
Perry did attend the 2016 Olympics in Rio as the training partner for American Kyle Snyder, who won a gold medal.