Andy Nearly Died After Falling From a Ladder to the Concrete Floor 15 Feet Below...

On June 29, 2010, I climbed a ladder to inspect a broken delivery bay door. The door came crashing down, and I fell 15 feet to a concrete floor below, sustaining a near-fatal traumatic brain injury.

My name is Andy Napolitano. I’m a father, TBI survivor, and Kessler Foundation research participant. I share my story to ask you, respectfully, to please send a gift today in celebration of Father’s Day. Your generosity will support fathers, and others, on our journey to recovery, independence, and inclusion.

The ladder I climbed that day has become a metaphor for the ladder I’ve been climbing to rebuild my life since my injury. The first rungs were regaining what I’d lost physically and cognitively. My late wife, Cathy, our two children, and my friends were my stability—and my cheerleaders. My care team at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation were my expert guides. I learned to walk and talk again. I gave my daughter, Katie, away at her wedding. I conquered climbing stairs. I learned to swim again. I began participating in Kessler Foundation’s rehabilitation research.

The middle rungs were about returning home and getting back to my hobbies—rock concerts and writing about the history of New Jersey and the Revolutionary War—back to being me.

Thanks to donors like you, breakthrough treatments and technologies are available to me and others.

I climbed my recovery ladder, rung by rung. After many years of rehabilitation, I’m close to reaching the top of my ladder. But, I still have tinnitus and gait issues, so I participate in Kessler Foundation research to improve outcomes for myself and my fellow TBI survivors. But more research is always needed.

I urge you to give, so rehabilitative care can advance to new heights. The climb up the ladder of recovery is long and arduous for people like me. We need your help to climb our ladders as high as we can.

Please send your gift today in celebration of fathers, and others like me, and support us on our journey to recovery, independence, and inclusion.


Please give as much as you can – any amount helps.


man and woman celebrating father's day picture


Participating in Kessler Foundation research gives me the chance to exercise parts of my brain and body that were affected by my injury. Virtual reality, mindfulness, and other innovative treatments have helped me so much.

I’m far more independent. I have better attention to detail, organization skills, and memory. I love to talk and meet with people. Now I feel confident walking up to someone and having a conversation.

One of the best parts is knowing I'm helping others. I used to think that current treatments could be adjusted for everyone. But I realize now that each person’s injury is different and that’s why more research is needed.

Playing my part in improving care has been a blessing. That’s why I’ve participated for so many years, and I'll continue for as long as I can. I’m grateful to Kessler Foundation and donors like you for this opportunity.

The ladder I fell from has given me the framework for my recovery. I’m writing a book about my journey I'm living proof that no ladder is insurmountable, thanks to your generosity.

You can help me and others striving to recover with your support.

Please send your gift today.



signature by Andrew Napolitano

Andy Napolitano
Father, TBI Survivor, Kessler Foundation Research Participant


P.S. Please let us know if you've included Kessler Foundation in your estate plans of if you'd like more information. To thank you for your support, we're sharing a free, online resource to guide you through the process of writing a legally valid will in 20 minutes or less: at

Wedding ceremony