MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) – Pizza, raffles and an outpouring of love. A community held a fundraiser to support the family of a teenager as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury.
Bob and Jennifer Wuersig announced the winners of baskets from a fundraiser Wednesday to help them and their son, 16-year old Medina High School student Jake Wuersig.
It was organized by family friend, Sharon Perry, at the Courthouse Pizzeria in the downtown Medina Square where 20% of Wednesday’s sales will go to help the family pay medical bills.
“Each one has about $500’s worth of products in it,” said Perry. “I just can’t imagine if it was my child. My heart goes out and I just want to do what I can to help.”
Perry’s son was with Jake and some other friends last month when Jake slipped and fell from a ridge at Whipp’s Ledges in the Hinckley Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.
Jake’s parents spent the day with him at MetroHealth Medical Center before attending the fundraiser.
“If you ask him to close his eyes, to open his eyes, grip your hand, so there are certain things that he is ready to acknowledge. Still got a long ways to go. He’s not talking yet, the right side of his body is a lot weaker than his left side,” said his father, Robert.
“He’s sitting in a chair, so they’re having him up in the chair and he’s getting very intense occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, so we’re hoping in rehab to get him back on his feet,” said his mother, Jennifer.
Jake’s parents hope he is able to move to a rehab facility with the next few days. She says continued support from the community is lifting the spirits of the entire family, especially Jake.
“We read him cards every day. We show him videos of his friends that they put together for him, we talk to him all the time about all his friends and family and his Medina community that loves him,” said his mother.
“We know people have come from Stow and Cuyahoga Falls just to come today to buy pizza,” his father said.
The Wuersigs have received support from around the world, which they say is overwhelming.
“Our Medina community has reached their arms out around us and friends and family and we are just so thankful,” said Jake’s mother.
The Medina community has also been selling T-shirts and doing many other things to show their support for Jake’s recovery.
There is also a GoFundMe page set up to help the family with medical bills, which has already topped $81,000.