Dora and Tom Barilla
Firefighter’s wife shares miraculous tale
Diana Sholley, Staff Writer
Dora Barilla didn’t fancy herself a writer.
She never intended to write a book.
But then, she never thought her husband would suffer a traumatic brain injury that many believed he would not survive.
Out of self-preservation and a deep desire to help others, Dora, a Rancho Cucamonga resident, wrote “A New Day, A True Story of Healing, Faith and Miracles.”
The story starts with a March 15, 2005, crash involving an Upland fire truck – driven by Dora’s husband – and a casino tour bus near the Fourth Street exit from the 10 Freeway in Ontario. A 75-year-old Rosemead man was killed, Dora’s husband was injured, and more than 50 people were sent to hospitals.
On the day of the incident, Dora and her Upland
Their daughters, Rebecca and Catie, were at school and she was on her way to work at Loma Linda University Medical Center as a faculty member in the health policy and management department and director of community benefits.
On her car radio, Dora heard a report about an accident on the 10 in Ontario that included a fire truck.
“I called the station to see what happened, never thinking that Tom was involved,” said Dora, who is now 40. “The captain answered and said, `Let me call you back. We don’t know all the details. I’ll call you as soon as I know something.’ That’s when I knew something had happened to Tom.”
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