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NEW CASTLE Comatose man to be moved for treatment



Published: Fri, August 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ron Wilkison has been in a vegetative state for almost two years.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Ron "Koot" Wilkison is coming home -- but first he needs some help from his friends.

His friends are putting on a benefit softball tournament and carnival from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Gaston Park off of Arlington Avenue. There will be games, raffles and food.

Proceeds will help pay for Wilkison's return to New Castle, where he will spend three months in rehabilitation for head injuries he suffered in a crash. Any money left after his treatment will be put in a trust fund for his daughter, Chloe, 2.

Car wreck: Wilkinson, a New Castle native, has been in a vegetative state in a Missouri nursing home since Sept. 30, 1999, when his car slid through a stop sign into the path of a tractor-trailer in St. Louis.

He suffered head injuries that left him unable to speak or move. Family members in New Castle say they don't believe he is getting enough treatment in St. Louis and want to bring him back to New Castle.

Wilkison's wife, Christie, has agreed to let the 32-year-old return home for three months to see if any improvement can be made.

"We believe that constant attention from friends and family here, which we believe he would be getting around the clock, would help," said P.J. Micaletti, one of the benefit organizers.

Wilkison's mother, Sheryl, said they are still working on the details of her son's trip and don't have a date yet.




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