Richard Eastman will receive treatment in Atlanta.
By AMY HOUSLEY
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LEAVITTSBURG -- When tragedy struck, the community of Leavittsburg rallied around the family of Richard Eastman Jr.
Sixteen-year-old Richard, who will be a junior at LaBrae High School in the fall, was injured in a swimming accident June 29 while in South Carolina with his grandparents.
He injured two vertebrae in his neck. He also suffered spinal cord injuries.
Since then, he has undergone two surgeries and was transferred Monday to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, Ga.
On Friday, his mother, Lydia Evelsizer, who is in Atlanta, said that he is still in the intensive care unit, but his ventilator was taken out Thursday. Soon, he will begin intensive therapy for six to eight weeks.
"A lot of kids call it boot camp because they work you so hard," she said of the rehabilitation.
Richard has movement from his chest up. Evelsizer said there are other patients at the rehabilitation center with the same injuries who can now move their arms.
"He's strong-willed," Evelsizer said of her son.
In an effort to help the family, friends have set up accounts at Second National Bank and the Cavalier Credit Union under The Richard Eastman Jr. Fund.
Cards and notes of support can also be sent by e-mail to Richardeastman16@aol.com or to Richard Eastman, c/o Debby Brinsey, 537 Bishop Road, Leavittsburg.
Also, a benefit garage sale and Chinese auction are set for Aug. 24 at the LaBrae High School parking lot from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, contact Brinsey.