PBC Sheriff's sgt. recovering from burns

By Al Pefley - bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL  (WFLX) - A Palm Beach County Sheriff's sergeant, who was severely burned in a motorcycle mishap, speaks publicly for the first time.

Sgt. Rich Ragali is recovering from second and third  degree burns over 60 percent of his body.

He showed us the severe burns to both legs and to his right hand, and he now is going through physical therapy and has had a number of skin grafts. Twice a day, a nurse changes his bandages.

In October, Ragali was off-duty, on a weekend getaway on his motorcycle with a group of deputies and friends when he was severely burned while stopping for gas in the Florida Keys.

"God decided I was gonna live, out of this one. 'Cause I thought I was gonna die. So it was God's decision that I was gonna make it through this. It's always gonna be painful. That's something I'm gonna have to live with for the rest of my life," Sgt. Ragali said.

His friends and colleagues at the sheriffs office have planned a fundraising benefit January 23 at the Moose Lodge in on RCA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. The event includes a raffle, carnival rides, food, live entertainment, and a motorcycle poker run to help pay some of Sgt. Ragali's medical bills.

He says the past few months have not been easy.

"It's been very trying. It's an experience everyday getting up. Things I used to take for granted, I can't anymore. Simply getting out of bed. I have to stretch my legs, stretch my arms, very painful," Ragali explained.