Why We Walk: Joey Pasqualini

Who was Joey?

My son Joey Pasqualini was born on March 2, 1988 in Sterling, VA. Joe moved with me to Vienna, Austria during high school years when I was transferred overseas with my job. He graduated from the American International School (AIS).

When I remember him growing up – I remember him wrestling, playing football and baseball, and hanging out with his friends. Joe loved being with his friends.

The Crash

When Joe was 20 years old his dreams and future plans were taken from him.  On January 18, 2009, Joe and his brother, Ed, were walking home from town when a drunk driver made the irresponsible decision to drive home.  The drunk driver hit my sons when they were about 200 yards from home.

Ed called me hysterically and told me that they had been hit by a car. I arrived within in a few minutes to see my sons in the back of an ambulance. This is a call that a parent dreads receiving in the middle of the night and the image burned in my mind of the emergency responders performing CPR on Joe is a parent’s worse nightmare. Ed was injured both physically and mentally. Ed’s wounds have healed, although his memories of that night never will.

Joe was killed at the scene. Thankfully the local police, fire department, and rescue squad arrived within minutes. Joe was resuscitated and by a miracle, lived. His injuries were life-threatening. He was in a coma for months. When he finally regained consciousness, Joe’s life had changed forever. He was paralyzed, required a ventilator to assist with his breathing, required a feeding tube for nutrition, and required around the clock care. Again, through a miracle, Joe fought hard and slowly recovered some of his life functions and we made the most of each and every day. After 8 years of fighting, ultimately the injuries that he suffered that night when he was hit took his life. On December 18, 2016, my son died.

Why We Walk

Instead on planning my son’s wedding, I planned his funeral.  Instead of looking forward to Joe getting married and having children, all I have are memories to hold.  I walk in memory of my precious son.  I walk to raise awareness.  I walk until there are no more victims of impaired drivers.

Register for the North Virginia Walk Like MADD here.


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