This holiday season, hundreds of people are donating money to help a paralyzed 13-year-old boy return home after months in hospital.
Lincoln Grayson has been at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton since a bicycling accident on July 4 left him paralyzed from the chest down.
“I’m grateful that my accident wasn’t too severe that I don’t have any brain damage,” said Grayson who is one of seven children in his family. “I’d like to just be with the whole family.”
The accident happened during a bike ride with his brother just six days after the family moved to Beaumont, Alta. from Lethbridge.
“We were just out exploring Beaumont,” said Grayson’s brother, McKay. “We just decided to go down a hill and it just didn’t go so well.”
Grayson flipped over the handlebars of his bicycle and landed on his face. The accident left him with several broken bones in his face and neck. Grayson, who was an athletic teenager, will likely never walk again.
“They said if he survived, he would be institutionalized for the rest of his life,” said Carmen Grayson, the boy’s mother. “I said no way. He’s 13 years old, he’s coming home.”
But to bring him home, the family needs money to renovate their house to accommodate Grayson’s wheelchair and other needs.
This is where family, friends, and hundreds of complete strangers have stepped in. In two weeks, Grayson’s GoFundMe page has raised more than $40,000. Many of the donations have come from people in Beaumont and Lethbridge.
“It has meant the world to us,” said Carmen. “We could not have done nor can we do what we’re doing without the help of wonderful neighbours and friends.”
For the first time since his accident, Grayson was able to spend the day at home on Saturday. His family hopes to take him home again for Christmas and eventually, on a permanent basis.
Renovations to the Grayson family home will begin in the New Year.
For now, Grayson is spending his time in hospital creating “Lincoln’s 12 Days of Christmas.” Each day, he films himself in his hospital bed talking about something he is thankful for, and then posts the video to his website.
“I want to share Christmas with everyone,” Grayson said in his first video, struggling to speak because of the tube in his throat that keeps him breathing. “This year, my gifts will be gifts of gratitude.”
With a report by CTV’s Janet Dirks