NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Injured firefighter Vince Castelly gets hero's welcome at PBIA, returns to his home in Loxahatchee

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 29, 2017

For Vincent Castelly, the road home has been longer than expected. 

“There's absolutely no words that can express or explain how I feel about this right now,” he says. 

No words, but plenty of tears. 

In May, the Fort Lauderdale firefighter started the journey to his home in Loxahatchee

An errant driver, however, altered that course.

Officer Daniel Abraira was one of the officers on scene

“Lot of debris - his car in particular was overturned,” he says. “I went to his car, and I just stood with him and talked with him.”

The accident left Vince paralyzed.

Castelly went through months of grueling rehab in Atlanta, making significant progress.

“9 to 5, 9 to 4, all day long therapy,” he says. “So I'm ready for a couple days of a break.”

Friday, it was time to head home again.

Dozens of his brothers and sisters from both the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department and Palm Beach Fire Rescue waited in the Terminal at Palm Beach International Airport. 

“We're here to let him know that we're going to be behind him, and help him through this situation,” says Fort Lauderdale Fire Battalion Chief Greg May. 

The gesture speaks volumes for Vince. 

“Just happy to see everybody, all my friends and family.”

It was the culmination of a journey unlike any other, one where he was never alone.

Castelly’s wife Naomie says having her husband home is a relief. 

“He kept saying all this for me? I said yeah, it's for you.”

“He's home. And it's a beautiful beginning.”

Vince still has quite a bit of rehab ahead of him, but he's determined to have a normal life.

He told his wife he has every intention of getting out of his wheelchair and playing with his kids in the yard.

His wife's response was, “You better.”