Teen still in coma weeks after being hit by car; supporters hold fundraiser for family

Posted at 9:39 PM, Apr 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-02 10:29:49-04

MURRAY, Utah -- A community laced up their ice skates for a good cause in Murray on Wednesday.

On March 13, 17-year-old Hillcrest High School student Caleb Stone was hit by a car while walking to school. He has been in a coma since.

Stone was walking with a group of friends in a crosswalk at 7500 South 900 East when he was hit by the female driver. On Wednesday, his friends and family held a fundraiser at the Salt Lake County Ice Center.

Caleb's mother, Nikki Stone, said her son is improving but still has a long road to recovery.

"He's responded to things like squeeze, 'squeeze my hand,'" Nikki Stone said. "He can feel the staples in his head, and so he keeps reaching up, I don't know if he's trying to scratch."

Nikki said her son has been making progress every day, but it's been an incredible challenge for the entire family.

"You have good days where you are all excited and pumped about everything, and then the next day you don't want to get out of bed, so it's hard to swallow," Stone said.

Stone said, as devastating as the injuries are, when she first arrived at the hospital things seemed even worse.

"We got there and they couldn't tell us if he was going to live or die at that point," she said. "His face took the brunt of this hit. I still didn't recognize him and believe it was him."

Stone said she would never be able to handle this situation on her own, both emotionally and financially, which is why she is so grateful for fundraisers like this.

"I'm a single mom, I look at those kinds of things and they are bigger than the mountains to me," she said.

Dozens of gift baskets were donated and raffled off during the fundraiser.

"She has always given back to myself and my family, and I just want to be able to give back to her," said Monica Bernardy, who organized the event.

Nikki said she just hopes Caleb is able to thank everyone on his own some day soon.

"He was the kind of kid that everyone loved to be around because he was funny, he just kept everybody laughing, and he felt good if he was making everyone around him happy and people were generally happy when they were around him," Stone said.

Nikki said doctors can't give a long-term prognosis on her son's condition. He is going to have more surgery on his face this Friday.

The driver in this case has not been charged, but the case remains under investigation.