Charlie Sheen has been showing a lot of generosity of late, and on Valentine's Day, Thursday, he showed still more. The actor wired $10,000 to Teagan Marti and her family on Thursday so that they could acquire a therapy dog to assist in Teagan's rehabilitation from injuries sustained when she fell 100 feet from a Wisconsin amusement park ride back in 2010.
In July of 2010, Marti suffered brain, spine, pelvis and internal injuries when the air bags and nets that were supposed to catch riders on the Terminal Velocity free-fall ride at Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells were not raised. Ironically, Marti had talked her family into making a trip from Florida to Extreme World after seeing the ride on the Travel Channel.
When the Terminal Velocity ride is operating properly, passengers raised to 140 feet above the ground in a metal cage. The floor opens and the rider is lowered through the floor in a harness, then suddenly released for what is expected to be a thrilling, but safe, free fall.
In Marti's case, however, the safety net and air bags designed to catch riders were not raised. Instead, she landed on the ground, where they had remained in error.
Marti was hospitalized in Wisconsin and Florida for three months. Although she initially had no use of her arms or legs, through extensive physical therapy she is now able to walk with the aid of a walker.
Teagan Marti spoke from her home in Parkland, Fla., and said:
I think he's a very kind person for helping me and my family and very generous.
A recent divorce and medical bills have placed the family in a precarious financial situation. Their house is being foreclosed upon and insurance doesn't covering Teagan's physical therapy anymore, she said. She said she originally had no idea how they would pay for the English Golden Retriever puppy which will eventually be Teagan's therapy dog. Julie Marti said:
I'm in such disbelief. I was crying. ... What a guy. What a guy.
Once trained, the dog will be able to turn on lights, pick up objects and -- in general -- be Teagan's constant companion.
Lucia Wilgus, of Eau Claire, Wis. spearheaded fund-raising for the family after hearing of the accident and befriending them. Through a connection with Sheen's godfather, who is a Wilgus family friend, she managed to reach out to Sheen. She told the actor the training and related costs would cost around $6,000.
However, the actor, speaking in a phone interview from Los Angeles, said that he decided to give more -- just in case -- for extra costs. He said the request had a "personal vibe" to it since it came through his godfather, and he told the family that "if there's a need for more" they should call him.
I like to pay it forward. People come into your orbit for a reason. You don't always know what that is ahead of time, but if I ignore these requests then I don't have any opportunity to see where these things lead us, or lead me.
Among examples of Charlie Sheen paying it forward recently was his gift to the family of Chris Guerra, a paparazzo who was killed while trying to get photos of Justin Bieber, and a gift to a young girl fighting cancer.
Teagan Marti is supposed to receive her new therapy dog on her birthday in September, but hasn't made up her mind on a name. Sheen had an idea. He joked, "I think they should name the dog Charlie."