Five decades later, Fritzky finds himself navigating what many people might consider a cruel fate. Now he is the one confined to a wheelchair after fighting a fierce battle with Neisseria Meningitis — acute inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord — which left him a quadruple amputee. This long journey started in 2006 and inevitably led to 36 major surgeries, end-stage renal disease, colon cancer, brushes with death and excruciating pain. Yet, Fritzky is filled with a joy that most people could never understand as well as a strong belief that God has blessed him with the “gift of suffering.”
Richard Fritzky, a local author and survivor, will talk about his new book at the House of the Good Shepherd Retirement Community on Fri., Aug. 28. The House is located on Willow Grove Street in Hackettstown. The talk, which is open to the public and free to attend, begins at 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Fritzky will speak about his new book, A Pilgrim’s Song: Mary Varick and her Theology of Suffering, as well as his own triumphs and spiritual growth. Fritzky still remembers when he was 14 and he was the one pushing stretchers and wheelchairs. At that time, his “saintly” aunt, Mary Varick, enlisted him to join her “Simons and Veronicas,” who cared for a group of severely disabled people on pilgrimage to the great Catholic shrines of Quebec, Canada.