06/17/09 — Support continues for boy hit by car

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Support continues for boy hit by car

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 17, 2009 1:46 PM

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Mark Gambrell, left second row, his wife, Cindy, second from left in the front, and son Edward, left front, accept a donation of $1,520 from Eastern Wayne Assistant Principal Craig Uzzell, second from left second row, and his students Hannah Neiman, third from left front row, Kayla Wiebe and Meagan Sutton.

Support continues to pour in for a family whose son is still in a coma at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Taylor Gambrel, an eighth-grade Eastern Wayne Middle School student struck by a car while riding his bike near his home on Powell Road on Jan. 26, is making progress, his mother, Cindy, said over the weekend.

"He hopefully had his last surgery on Friday," she said. "He had some fluid build-up on the left side of his head and it would shift when he was moved and would make him nauseous so he had surgery to remove the excess fluid and try to stop any more build-up. ... I hope this solves the problems he has been having."

No release date has been given for the 12-year-old, but the family remains optimistic.

"Taylor is doing very well," his mother said. "Both of his eyes are open and he is showing signs of response to stimulation. We went up on Friday. He seems to be aware and awake and looking around."

Next up is speech therapy, Mrs. Gambrel said.

"Things are moving along. We're looking forward to him coming home to start stimulating even more and get more responses out of him," she said. "It just a slow, steady process."

There is still a long road ahead, she admitted. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can likely be done at home, while other therapies may require continued trips to the hospital.

As they patiently await the reunion, the family -- which also consists of father Mark and three siblings -- has already seen many needs met.

The Gambrels said they appreciate the cards and letters, prayers and efforts to support them. Beverly Vinson, whose son Brandon was the victim of a hunting accident, rallied a fundraiser to purchase a larger mobile home for the family. MERCI Center in Rosewood constructed a handicap ramp, and an anonymous donor recently offered to put up a privacy fence for the family.

Then, two weeks ago, several students at Taylor's school became involved, hosting a three-day fundraiser at Eastern Wayne Middle which netted $1,520. The three students who spearheaded the event -- Meagan Sutton, Hannah Neiman and Kayla Wiebe -- met the family this week to present them with the donation.

"We're tickled," Mrs. Gambrel said after learning of the gesture. "We appreciate everything everybody has done. We have been very blessed."

With the acquisition of a new home, there are still finishing touches to complete.

"We have to start building the addition onto the house," she said, explaining a delay caused by laws about the septic tank area. "So we have to find someone to help us move the septic tank.

"We have gotten our stuff moved into the house, but we haven't moved in yet. It's just easier for us to keep staying at my mother-in-law's with all the trips to Pitt."

There is also work to be done to make it more accessible for Taylor, his mother said.

"It's not quite ready, but hopefully when Taylor comes home, he will stay in the living room and when the addition's built, he can move into his own room," she said.

Donations are still being accepted through Mrs. Vinson's church, with checks earmarked to the Taylor Gambrel Fund, c/o Daniels Memorial United Methodist Church, 2803 E. Ash Street, Goldsboro, NC 27534.