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Chester County Press

Editorial: Keep moving on

09/13/2022 02:55PM ● By Richard Gaw

In our desire for happiness and contentment, we are preordained to the safe and proper order of things. In a cruel twist, however, we are also utterly helpless to the unanticipated and the unknown.

On the morning of Aug. 14, Barry Fragale, who owns the Fragale Brothers Barber Shop in Kennett Square with his brother Michael, took his family to Bethany Beach in Delaware. Tragedy was not pre-scripted on the day’s agenda – in the course of human lives, it never is -- and so what led Barry to walk in the ocean and stand in the cool and shallow water was an act done out of pure and simple joy – a tiny and momentary gift to himself.

After the wave hit him; after its sheer force broke his back in several places and rendered him unable to move, he was airlifted to Christiana Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken neck, a spinal cord injury, and underwent emergency surgery to stabilize his body.

We are not blessed with the ability to foreshadow the seconds when our worst moments occur. We are, however, overabundant with compassion for others who endure such horrible misfortune as what happened to Barry Fragale on Aug. 14. Our veins and arteries flow thick with it along with our blood, and in the weeks since that fateful day one month ago, we have proven again that compassion may be our greatest gift.

To help defray the exorbitant costs associated with Barry’s care, a GoFundMe campaign was organized, and after its first week, over 600 people had made donations that totaled nearly $90,000 – shattering the original $43,000 goal earmarked to help pay for medical bills, mobility aids and home alterations.

As of this edition of the Chester County Press goes to print, the number of donors has risen to 877, and collectively, the campaign now stands at over $122,000. Every day and every hour, both numbers continue to get larger.

“The reality is that the outcome of his injury is not yet known,” it reads on the GoFundMe page. “We know it will be a long road to recovery and life will look a little different when it’s done.”

There is no way for us to know in advance about the boulder teetering high above the freeway. We cannot forecast the arrival of the man with the weapon. Our intuition is not strong enough to stop the planes above us from slamming into the toners above. It is merely our fate and we suppose, also our destiny to keep moving on. In our hearts, in our prayers and in our contributions, we are right now telling Barry Fragale to do the same.

To make your contribution to Barry Fragale’s recovery, visit: