Giving Back

Community Comes Together to Help Westfield Heart Patient

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Dan Weiniger visits with friend Doug Lynch while recovering from open heart surgery.
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WESTFIELD, NJ – Doug Lynch has good news to report about his campaign to raise money to buy a whole house generator for Westfield resident Dan Weiniger, who successfully underwent open heart surgery on Monday.

“We hit our fundraising goal of $8,736 with the last $293 being donated by the Paul Jackson Fund,” Lynch said Thursday. In total, 81 people contributed to the fundraiser over the last week.

Weiniger, 53, received a quintuple bypass 14 years ago but suffered a heart attack earlier this month. The heart attack caused severe damage and necessitated the implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which will help his heart pump blood more effectively.

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The generator will provide a guaranteed source of electricity for Weiniger, whose LVAD will need to be recharged daily.

The Paul Jackson Fund (PJF), a Westfield-based charity, serves as a resource for individuals and families facing financial hardship due to a long-term illness or disability. The organization made its donation Thursday afternoon.

"The Paul Jackson Fund was happy to contribute to raising funds for a generator for Dan," said Mary Doherty, directory of development the PJF. "The Westfield community banded together 24 years ago to raise funds when Paul Jackson became paralyzed and the insurance would not cover the cost of his rehab. I watched this community come together to support the Kehler family when their child was diagnosed with cancer, and now to come together to help Dan with this much-needed piece of equipment.  I am grateful to live in this strong and caring town and the Paul Jackson Fund is grateful for the support from this generous community."

Lynch spearheaded the fund drive through GoFundMe.com, launching the site last Friday. To see the page, visit http://gofundme.com/DanWeinigersLVAD.

On Thursday, Weiniger was recuperating in the cardiac recovery unit at Morristown Memorial Hospital, able to breathe on his own and sit in a chair. He has even asked for his favorite beverage, Diet Coke.

Installation for the generator at Weiniger’s home is expected to begin Monday and be complete by Wednesday. Weiniger could possibly come home late next week.

Meyer and Depew, a Kenilworth company that specializes in heating, cooling and generator installation, is providing Weiniger’s whole house generator at below cost. The company is also donating the labor to install it. A generator of this kind typically costs $12,000-$14,000, Lynch said.

In addition, Arc Electric of Fanwood is donating its services to outfit his home’s electrical system to work with the generator.

Both contractors know Weiniger through Westfield’s chapter of Business Networking International.

Weiniger, who owns Home Video Studios of Westfield, lives in town with his wife, Jan, and daughter, Eliza.

“Dan is very, very appreciative of all the love and support and prayers that were sent his way,” said Lynch.

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