NEW ORLEANS -- Family and friends fighting to get shooting victim Sandy Kaynor the medical treatment they feel he needs held a fundraiser Monday night.
They're raising money so Kaynor can get hyperbaric oxygen treatment to help him recover from devastating injuries.
Sandy Kaynor, 53, lost 30 pints of blood and wasn't expected to live after gunmen shot him in his driveway in a robbery in early October.
The bullets severed his spinal cord. During surgery he clinically died. His brain was deprived of oxygen, leaving him unresponsive.
“I don't feel that my husband should have to suffer because he was shot in our driveway,” said Grace Kaynor, Sandy’s wife. “He is a completely innocent victim in all of this.”
But Sandy – a father, attorney and musician – was destined for a nursing home when his insurance company initially refused to pay for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat his brain.
“And it's just a travesty that this would happen to someone so precious,” said longtime friend Virginia Barkley.
Kaynor's colleagues at the Jones Walker Law Firm held a fundraiser to help with expenses.
One of the organizers, Jennifer Kogos, said people have responded after seeing medical reporter Meg Farris' report on Kaynor's condition and the family's desire for hyperbaric treatment.
“I’ve received so many calls from the public, people sending in $20 checks, and it's so heartwarming during the holiday season, people with limited funds are sending in money to help the family,” she said.
Dr. Paul Harch said the hyperbaric treatments that Sandy Kaynor has already received are helping him recover.
“Week to week, he's progressively more awake, more alert and responsive,” Harch said. “In fact he's now even responding to attempts to suction him, which is an extremely noxious procedure. He shook his head the other day to the respiratory therapist, 'No, I don't want that."
“Now he is able to make eye contact, good eye contact. He is able to move his hands on command,” Grace Kaynor said.
One organizer says the fund drive is halfway toward its goal of raising $50,000 for Sandy Kaynor.
If you want to help with his life-long medical costs, you can go to any Iberia Bank or click here.