LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - An after school ATV ride on a dirt road near Casey Collette's Laurel County home had devastating consequences.
"There was a steel cable across the road and I assume he didn't see it," said Kay Hensley, Casey's aunt.
Collette was clotheslined with the cable cutting him across his stomach. He was airlifted to UK Hospital, then boarded onto a special ICU Lear Jet bound for a hospital in Atlanta.
"He has had 8 surgeries," said Hensley. She said many of them have been very intense, one lasting 8 hours.
He also had a broken back, part of his intestine removed, and he suffered brain damage after his heart stopped during a seizure. His family says he was lucky to have survived the initial accident.
"They said they did not think he would have survived the first few days," said Hensley.
He's now in a special brain and spinal cord facility, where his parents have stayed nearly around the clock, by his side.
"His mother has never been back home," said Hensley. "He needs a miracle. Where there is life there is always hope."
Hhis family says they've seen their churches and community respond in incredible ways. His 93-year-old grandfather, a World War II veteran, is calling on everyone to keep it up.
"Just do more of what's being done. Everyone seems to be interested in the boy," he said.
He hopes his young and avid fisherman will soon one day get back to the outdoor life he loves. Hensley says a fund is in the process of being set up at Forcht Bank in London.