Tuesday, May 27, 2008
DALLAS -- Cathy Stewart said she recently received the best Mother's Day gift of all: She got her son Parker, the Dallas High School junior who was hit in the head with a discus, home from the hospital.
The teen, comatose for nearly 10 days after an April 10 accident at Gallaspy Field, is now able to walk to the end of his driveway. Although he is still weak, he can talk and is scheduled to have a permanent protective plate put in his head to replace the part of his skull that was crushed, his mother said.
Parker now wears a helmet to protect his head.
His humor, his appetite and his strength are returning, Cathy Stewart said. The feeding tube has been removed from his stomach, returning normal eating to his life. He attends rehabilitation therapy twice a week.
"The doctors call him their miracle patient," Cathy said. "Your help and prayers have made a huge difference. He's way ahead of where they expected him to be."
Meanwhile, bills are mounting for the uninsured family of seven. Cathy and her husband, Britt, are self-employed painters who have operated a small business for the past 12 years, Granite Trust.
The Stewarts had purchased the required school sports insurance when Parker signed up for sports, but that coverage is limited to about $25,000.
Cathy estimates that the doctor and hospital bills, which haven't yet started coming in, could amount to about $300,000.
Cathy said she doesn't care about the money, as long as she has her son.
"What can they do, repossess my son? Money is just money," she said.
Friends and family of the Stewarts are lending their emotional support, but Stan Butterfield, a Dallas attorney, has opened a bank account for the family at Bank of America in Dallas.
Donations to help pay Parker's medical bills can be sent to the Parker Stewart Family Fund, in care of the bank at 791 Main St., Dallas, OR 97338. Donations can also be made in person at the bank, as long as the name of the account is referenced.