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Benefit scheduled for WVCS grad

WEST VALLEY—Although she’s awake and aware of her surroundings, Lindsey Thomas has a long road to recovery ahead of her. The 2009 West Valley graduate is on the mend following a May 18 car accident that left her with multiple injuries. Thomas was in a medically induced coma to help her recover, has multiple broken bones and is expected to be in the hospital for at least another month.

“The doctor’s told [Thomas’] mom it was very unlikely she would wake up,” Erica McCabe, a close friend of Thomas’s said. “The next day her eyes opened and she’s been awake since.”

Doctors had to reattach part of Thomas’ skull, which was removed to help reduce the brain swelling. Since then, Thomas has began recognizing her family and friends, is able to remember everything leading up to her accident and is showing off her fighting spirit.

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“She’s in bed moving her legs as much as she can to get ready for physical therapy,” McCabe said. “She’s back on Facebook thanking people for their support. She’s definitely a fighter … she can’t wait to get back to her normal.”

Before Thomas can return to “her normal,” she’ll have to undergo physical therapy and will likely need full-time care for about six months following her release from the hospital. It’s with that in mind, that McCabe is organizing a benefit for her friend. Scheduled for Aug. 4, the benefit will include live music, food, large ticket items and a theme auction.

With items ranging from a Kenmore gas grill to an autographed mini Kyle Williams helmet, McCabe hopes to be able to raise money to help cover medical expenses and lost wages.

“[Thomas’] mom hasn’t left the hospital since the accident. It hasn’t happened yet but she might have to quit her job to take care of her daughter,” McCabe said. “We’re just trying to help out.”

Since beginning organization efforts, numerous donations have been made, both raffle items  and monetary donations. A GoFundMe account has raised $10,244 and $9,255 raised on Facebook.

Thomas has even gained support worldwide, after her boyfriend Ryan Williams asked the Facebook community to share a message of support for Thomas’ June 19 birthday. From Canada to Germany, Colorado to North Carolina, strangers shared happy birthday wishes and get well soon messages on Facebook. The effort even reached the United States Marines, with two videos posted wishing her happy birthday and a quick recovery.

Now, McCabe is turning the attention to the benefit.

“We’re just trying to get the word out,” she said. “She’s got a lot of bills insurance won’t cover … we’re just doing what we can.”

Nick Kody and Lydia Herren will be bringing live music, while pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw will be served up by Jake and the Fatman BBQ. Doors open at 11 a.m. at the West Valley Fire Hall, 9091 Route 240, West Valley. Presale tickets are $10, and can be obtained by emailing KeepFightingLMT@yahoo.com or calling McCabe at 716-353-6278.

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