Family of local teacher left with brain injury from car crash searching for healthcare options

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Pa. — It’s been 10 years since a local teacher was severely injured in a car crash in Lawrence County. Josh Prigorac was left with a traumatic brain injury, unable to take care of himself.

Since then, his family has filled the void. Now, they are reaching out for help in a situation that’s become all too common: they can’t find a permanent home for their brother.

“Because I was a nurse, I felt like him living at home with my parents and us and the entire family was doable,” older brother Jonathan Prigorac said.

The situation has changed. Their mom passed a few months ago after a battle with Parkinson’s and their dad suffers from Alzheimer’s. They’ve been searching for a home for their brother for a year.

“My parents always said ‘Jer, will you take care of him after we go?’ and stuff like that. I kind of feel [like I’m letting them down], but on the other hand, it’s not fair to Josh,” little brother Jeremy Prigorac said. He left a career in the Air Force and became a nurse to be closer to home and his brother.

“Every time we think we’re making some advancement, there’s a hiccup,” Jeremy said.

They’ve been told a number of things, like Josh doesn’t qualify financially or is too old or too young.

“Every family is dealing with something. We’re not the only ones. We know the healthcare industry is short-staffed,” Jeremy Prigorac said.

“We’re just coming to a point at the crossroads where something different has to be done for him to continue living a meaningful life,” Jonathan Prigorac said.

Long-term care homes and nursing homes have been hit especially hard with staffing issues since the pandemic.

In fact, in Harrisburg, this morning Governor Josh Shapiro announced he’ll propose a three-year tax incentive of up to $2,500 for newly-certified nurses as part of his first budget.

Meantime, if you know of a way to help the Prigorac family find a permanent home for their brother, you can email sister-in-law Olivia here: livprigorac@gmail.com

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