The Fiore-Patti Family Needs Our Help! - Sound Shore Moms of Westchester

Ernie Patti, Larchmont teen and recent graduate of Fordham Prep had a terrible accident a week after starting his freshman year of college last August.  Ernie’s extended family and friends have come together to rally around him, his parents and his sisters.  They have setup a campaign to help fundraise and offset the costs of his incredibly expensive treatment and therapy.  Read on to learn more about Ernie’s story and how you can help.

ernest patti larchmont teen in cast in hospital after beach accident

Photo from The Larchmont Loop


The following excerpt is from

Ernest Patti, like a lot of kids, was excited to start college. His parents Susan Fiore and Dr. Ernest Patti, Sr., moved him from New York to the University of Miami and Ernie began Freshman orientation and classes. About a week into the school year, Ernie had a terrible accident

On August 22, 2020, Ernie went to the beach with his new roommates to go swimming. While he was in the water, the tide knocked him off of his feet. Ernie knew that he was in trouble and called to his friends. Ernie was unable to move, but thankfully his friends were able to get him out of the water. Almost immediately, Ernie took charge and alerted all who were nearby that he was seriously injured. Thanks to his quick-acting friends and local emergency personnel, Ernie was rushed to nearby Jackson Memorial Hospital. Within two hours of the accident, Ernie underwent spinal surgery to repair a burst fracture of his C6 vertebra.

Susan and Dr. Ernie got the call that no parent ever wants to receive; they both dropped everything and rushed to Miami. Due to the pandemic, it was initially impossible for them to even get into the hospital to be with Ernie. After some animated discussions (and some New York persuasion), Ernie Sr. and Susan got in and have been at Ernie’s side ever since.

Susan and Ernie Sr. are incredibly grateful for the resources and profound expertise of the spinal injury community in Miami and believe that it is the best place for Ernie’s treatment and rehabilitation at this stage. Unfortunately, Ernie’s sisters, Alex and Victoria, remain in the Northeast in order to comply with COVID restrictions and have not been able to see their brother.

Since the injury, Ernie’s grit and determination have never wavered. Despite the circumstances, Ernie remains unbelievably positive. He attacks his therapy and works as hard as his doctors will allow him. This is critically important, as intensive interventions in the months immediately following a serious spinal injury can have the greatest benefits. The harder Ernie works right now, the better for his long-term recovery.

Expenses for the victim of a catastrophic spinal injury can exceed $ 700 thousand in the first year, over and above medical costs covered by insurance. Those expenses can continue at a level of approximately $ 120 thousand in subsequent years, depending upon the extent of deficits. For Ernie and his family, current costs include temporary housing, private aide help, rehabilitation / therapy not covered by insurance, and transportation, among others. Longer-term needs may include home & vehicle modifications, ongoing aide & rehabilitation costs, and education adaptations. Even for people with good jobs and good insurance, the costs are overwhelming.

This has been a lousy year for everybody. The strain on Ernie and his family is unimaginable. Despite it all, Ernie, Susan, Ernie Sr., Alex, and Victoria remain upbeat and grateful for the prayers, concern, and outreach of so many. The extended Fiore and Patti families are a constant source of support and love as they rally around Ernie and support his recovery.

Ernie, Susan, and Ernie Sr. need our help. They would never ask, so we’re asking. Ernie is going to work as hard as humanly possible to recover from this devastating injury. He is already doing that. Rehabilitation and adaptation are going to be enormously expensive, and Ernie, Susan and Doc need to focus entirely upon his recovery.

If you are able to help, please consider donating to support this beautiful family during the most difficult time of their lives.

We have chosen to fundraise for Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for contributors. Contributors can be sure donations will be used to pay or reimburse medical and related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to this fundraising campaign, click on the Give button.


Looking for additional ways to help?  Join Ernie’s supporters locally and across the country as they gather live or virtually to walk, run, bike, or roll 5 km (3.1 miles) to raise critical funds for his recovery. The Larchmont Loop has put together a team in support of Ernie. For those of you in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck area, you can join at a specific spot (TBD) at 10:00 am on May 16th. They’ll have a group that will run the 5k, and a group that will walk. Click here to register:

If you can’t join in, please consider donating to help support this wonderful family in need. All donations are tax-deductible.

Or, please click here to donate:


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