Knights team up to help Naugatuck native

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John Karbowicz, 45, with his fiancee Becky Kiley, 36, of Prospect, right, and Kiley's grandmother, Evelyn Kiley. -CONTRIBUTED
John Karbowicz, 45, with his fiancee Becky Kiley, 36, of Prospect, right, and Kiley’s grandmother, Evelyn Kiley. -CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — The Prospect Knights of Columbus have teamed with the Naugatuck Knights of Columbus to hold a fundraiser Friday to benefit a borough native.

The event will run from 4:30 to 8 p.m. inside the rear family community center at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, 1006 New Haven Road. Tickets, which will be available at the door, cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 11 and no charge for children 5 years old and under.

The benefit is being held for John Karbowicz, 45, who suffered serious injuries from a fall on Oct. 4, 2012, that left him with permanent damage to his left side and a cracked hip, said George Hughes, lector of the Rev. James F. O’Dea Council No. 13459 Knights of Columbus.

The Naugatuck Knights of Columbus Ojeda Council No. 33 is holding the benefit with the Prospect organization.

Hughes said Karbowicz, a cabinet maker who has been out of work, was helping a friend at a house when the fall happened. They were trying to set a beam when Karbowicz slipped, went backward and fell head-first into a basement, landing on concrete, he said.
His friend, Brian Stockton, administered on-site emergency first aid that saved his life, Hughes said. Karbowicz was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, he said.

Karbowicz had been treated for lung cancer before the accident, he said.

Karbowicz is engaged to Becky Kiley, 36, of Prospect. The accident happened on Kiley’s birthday and on the date of their fifth-year anniversary.

Hughes said he just asks residents to attend, donate or keep Karbowicz and his family in their prayers.

“I think it’s wonderful that they have stepped forward to do this for us,” Kiley said.

Kiley, who is an anesthesia technician in the operating room at Saint Mary’s, said Karbowicz is hanging in there.

He has trouble walking because of his left leg, and his right hand is damaged, she said. He requires physical therapy three days a week, and needs help with most everyday tasks, said Kiley, who provides care for him.

She said her fiance appreciates everything that everybody has done. He is overwhelmed by the help he has received from friends and family, Kiley said.

Karbowicz is self-employed but has been out of work, she said. He played softball in multiple leagues mostly out of Naugatuck, and also coached basketball at the Naugatuck YMCA.

To donate, send checks made out to Knights of Columbus No. 13459 to St. Anthony’s Church, 4 Union City Road, Prospect, 06712.