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Father who chased the 'American Dream' critical after car crash

A fundraiser has raised more than $36,000 for Guillermo Arriondo.
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A husband, father and business owner is in a critical condition in a Twin Cities hospital after a car crash in Mendota Heights earlier this week.

According to a GoFundMe campaign, father-of-three Guillermo Arriondo was on his way to play tennis when he was involved in a head-on crash on Tuesday.

As the fundraiser says, Arriondo was driving his "ancient, beloved car," one "so ancient" that it doesn't have airbags, and Guille was partially ejected from the car.

"While his body mercifully did not suffer major damage, his head took the brunt of the impact," it continues, noting he's in a critical but stable condition in the Neuro ICU at Regions Hospital.

The account was launched on behalf of his wife, Donna Mae Arriondo, and describes how Guillermo moved to the U.S. from his native Buenos Aires "to pursue a girl named Donna, a career in architecture, and the American Dream."

After more than 10 years working for architecture firms, he launched his own company, GA Designs LLC, in St. Paul in 2009.

But as he's self-employed, his family says he doesn't have "many of the protections that a regular job might afford," and as such the "hospital bills are quickly piling up," with his health plan having a high deductible.

Meanwhile, household bills are mounting and his income has temporarily been lost, prompting the fundraiser which as of Friday morning has raised more than $36,000.

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An update posted on Thursday said that his condition appears to be improving, and he's now breathing on his own, though due to COVID-19 restrictions his wife is only allowed to be with him for just an hour a day.

"Guillermo has been moving his limbs a lot, perhaps in an attempt to get up," the update said. "Doctors are concerned about a lack of responsiveness on his left side right now. Physical therapists are going to assess him for the first time today, so we may know more about his condition and what he is facing.

"His doctors spoke about how yesterday would be his baseline - it was a good day, but today may not be as good and that is okay as long as he continues an overall trend forward. We'll take it!"

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