03/01/09 — Bringing home hope

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Bringing home hope

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 1, 2009 2:00 AM

Submitted photo

Taylor Gambrel

The 12-year-old Eastern Wayne Middle School student hospitalized after being hit by a car in late January is coming home sooner than expected.

But Taylor Gambrel is still in a coma and has nowhere to go for further treatment, his mother said this week.

Cynthia Gambrel said doctors at Pitt Memorial Hospital are considering releasing Taylor in about two weeks.

She said her son, in many ways, is doing remarkably well considering the extent of his injuries.

"He's still in a coma. The swelling's gone down," she said. "They put in a drain tube, but that will probably be out next week," she said.

In many ways the prognosis is better than the family was told at the outset.

After the accident, which happened late Monday afternoon, Jan. 26, Taylor was airlifted to Pitt in Greenville and immediately taken into surgery. Doctors initially gave little hope that he would even survive past the first day or two. The family was also told if he did live, he would likely be severely brain-damaged.

The family held out hope -- calling on their faith -- that Taylor would defy the odds.

So far, that is happening, Mrs. Gambrel said.

But just because her son might come home from the hospital does not mean the struggles are over.

"Our problem -- we're seven people living in a two-bedroom 1976 mobile home," she said. "We're looking for a place to move, housing, something."

She and husband, Mark, have three other children, and Mark's mother also lives with them.

Ideally, they would like to remain in the New Hope area, to keep their children in the same schools.

"We need a place soon because Taylor will have to have a hospital bed and monitors and such," she said. "We're looking forward to him coming home, but I don't have anywhere to put him in this trailer, I don't think is going to all the plugs for all the monitors and machines. So we're calling around to everyone we can think of and trying to find something kind of quick."

In the meantime, the Gambrels are taking a class at the hospital to ready themselves for their son's return.

"They're training us on how to take care of Taylor at home," Mrs. Gambrel explained. "There will also be two nurses that Medicaid will pay for. There would be at least two nurses, and adults in the home have to take this course."

The training will educate them on how to assist with care and feeding of their son, she said.

It will help, especially since the burden will soon fall on the family's shoulders.

"His release was a lot sooner than we expected," Mrs. Gambrel said. "And he has nowhere to go. There's no child care center or homes that will take him. What they want is for him to come home and finish healing here. They're not really expecting him to wake up from the coma. But we are."

Mrs. Gambrel said she hopes that by putting out word, a Realtor or someone else aware of a possible home will get in contact with information that will help the family by the time Taylor is released.

The family's phone number is 778-5952.