Vince Accardi 1961-2016
Vincent Accardi was born on December 30th, 1961. He grew up in Debary, Florida with his parents and three siblings. In high school, he was known for his love of rock and roll and his big afro. He was an all-around great athlete; playing baseball, football soccer, and running track.
He graduated from Deland High and played soccer for Stetson University, going all-state. He then attended the University of Florida with his Doctorate of Pharmacy.When he was 25 years old, dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This did not stop him from operating his own pharmacy and having two children, Michael and Krystle.
When he turned 41, at the turn of the century, and 16 years after he had been diagnosed, all of that changed. He began to have trouble walking and began using a cane. Within two years he was using a walker, and another two had him confined to a wheelchair permanently.
In 2006, his 14-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. This tragedy would cause him deeper pain than the loss of his body ever could. Then in 2008, an electrical house fire would leave him with first degree burns on 80% of his body. He would spend the next eight months recovering at ORMC. Still, when he returned home, he always had a smile on his face and a joke on his tongue.
He never complained about his situation or stopped having a positive attitude. He was just happy to occasionally get out of the nursing home he resided in, as well as watching his son, nieces, and nephews grow up. He always said you have to find the good in the bad.
On January 3rd, 2017, Vincent Accardi unexpectedly died in his sleep, likely due to heart failure. Many mourn his death. But we also use his life as an example of perseverance. In our darkest moments we close our eyes and see his smile. A smile on the face of the man that had so many reasons to frown. We see that smile and know that we can make it out of the darkness, and into the light.