CRESTVIEW — Family, friends, fellow barbers and clients of Rook Torres are asking the community for help after Torres was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident Saturday.
"Last night we almost lost him," Brent Parry wrote on a Go Fund Me account titled "Heal out Rook." The page is dedicated to helping Torres, 28, with his medical expenses.
Parry said Torres was leaving a get-together for a friend who opened a barber shop in Panama City. He lost control of his motorcycle and hit a car.
Torres walked away from the wreck and began having difficulty breathing, not knowing he was bleeding internally. EMS realized his condition and transported him to Bay Medical Sacred Heart, according to Parry.
Doctors were able to remove Torres' ruptured kidney and stop the internal bleeding. However, according to Parry, they could not sew Torres' incision because of swelling in his stomach area.
Parry said Torres, now in a drug-induced coma, is in an Intensive Care Unit but stable. Doctors are attempting to bring the swelling down and hope to perform surgery on his stomach by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Torres also has a laceration on his knee that won't be operated on until surgery on his stomach is completed, Parry said.
"He has a long road ahead of him, but trust me, he’s a fighter," Parry wrote in a Facebook post.
Parry said Torres is unaware of his situation.
In his current condition, Torres is expected to have at least a three month recovery.
Parry said after the incident occurred, clients began reaching out wondering how they could help with Torres' medical expenses.
"Hes been here since February and has hundreds of people that consider him family," Parry said.
As an independent barber, Torres doesn't have access to company-funded health insurance.
"That’s the thrill of being a barber ... the freedom to control your own life," Parry said. “... It’s a risk we run.”
However, because Torres will be away from his barber chair — his livelihood — for at least three months, Parry hopes the community will help with expenses.
"We are his family," Parry said.
Torres' fellow barbers miss seeing his smile and having his positive attitude around the barber shop, Parry said.
Currently, they have a memorial display in his chair along with a donation jar.
"He's my best friend for a reason," Parry said. "He sees Crestview for what it is, and he sees a side of Crestview that a lot of people don’t."
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/heal-our-rook?member=888184 or bring donations to Hub City Barbers, 211 N. Main St.
Parry said there will be T-shirts with Torres' name on them for sale, and 100 percent of the proceeds going to Torres' medical expenses.