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According to the Block Island Times, on the evening of July 5, 26 year old Matt Fortuna, a member of this site, was hanging out in the Ball O'Brien Park on West side road when he suddenly collapsed to the ground. Matt had stopped breathing. Island resident Timothy Buol was first on the scene and the Rescue Squad was there within minutes.
"If not for the actions of Timothy Buol, the young man would have surely died," the squad wrote in a Letter of Commendation. "It is this spirit of volunteerism and selfless actions that separates Block Island from most other places, even more so than the thirteen miles of water"
While Matt recovers, island businesses and employees quickly organized a benefit to raise money toward his medical costs at the Poor People's Pub on July 15. The benefit raised more tha n $5,600! Other island businesses contributed as well. All of the bartenders from The National Hotel donated ALL their tips that night and Eli's provided a gift certificate for the 50/50 raffle.
Block Island and the people who are driven to live here are truly different than anywhere else. This is a place where people come together to help others in their time of need. Over the years, there have been countless stories on Block Island where islanders selflessly pull together for people in need.
I truly hope Matt gets well soon.