While his prognosis from the fractures to the C4 and C5 vertebra in his upper spine indicate he won't regain function of his arms or legs,
"He's ready to fight this battle," said
The teen was driving home from school at
He is currently housed at
A cousin of Trotter-Stewart has started a GoFundMe page, at Rallying for Raiden, to assist the family with ongoing and future expenses.
A fundraiser is also set for
Raiden was on the varsity football and wrestling teams at
"We were very shocked by the community response," Trotter-Stewart said. "The first night was overwhelming with all the support and how quickly everybody was doing everything ... People have reached out from all over. We told Raiden about it and he cried. He couldn't understand why so many people are supporting him who didn't know him."
A lot of people have reached out who have had spinal injuries or know someone who has, offering comfort and advice.
"Most who've contacted us, however, are not quite the same as his," she said. "It's hard to gauge what his rehab will be like compared to others."
The family's needs going forward, however, will be great.
Their employers have been good about accommodating them, letting Trotter-Stewart and her ex-husband off work, but someone will have to be with Raiden virtually full-time now, she noted, starting with rehab and later when he returns home. There will be extensive travel expenses and medical bills not covered by insurance that are already piling up.
"Raiden has a big heart," his mom said. "He's making this very easy for us. For a 16-year-old, he's not whiny, saying 'why did this happen to me.' He's very positive about it and accepting it. He said the first night he'd rather this happened to him than anyone else's kid. He's a big teddy bear with a good heart."
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