A young Valencia boy challenges others to help a new friend.
It was a snow day and a family celebration for the Braytons.
On Valentine’s Day, the white-blanketed
hills of Frazier Park beckoned and they eagerly answered the call.
It was a day that they would learn a lot about their
8-year-old son, Jaeden.
Jaeden and several other youngsters were busy hauling their
sleds and saucers to the top of the hills, waiting their turn for the exhilarating
rush of cold air as they flew down the snow-covered slopes.
“I was going downhill when I heard a big skidding,” Jaeden
said. “At that very second, I heard a crash.”
Dylan Bliss, another 8-year-old, was riding a six-foot
plastic pool when he lost control on the downhill and slammed into a tree. The
impact fractured his skull.
Jaeden’s father, David, was the only one able to get a
signal on his cell phone to call for help. Paramedics took the boy to ChildrensHospital, Central
California in Madera,
where Dylan remains in a medically-induced coma so the swelling on his brain
can go down.
Jaeden’s mom, Courtney, jumped into action, doing what comes
naturally to a mother of young children.
“All I could think was that could have been my kid,” she
said, adding that Dylan’s family is from Ventura,
230 miles from the hospital. “She’s there with her son, all alone. There had to
be something I could do to help.”
Courtney set up a website, www.howisdylan.com, for updates on the
young boy’s condition and as a place to leave messages and make donations to
help the family. She stays in telephone contact with Terry Jo, Dylan’s mother,
to let her know that she’s not alone. In the meantime, visitors to the website
have multiplied and a Facebook page has been opened as well.
“She loves it and has been so thankful for the support,”
Courtney said of Dylan’s mother. “She’s heard from people as far away as Nebraska.
Last I heard there were 64 people who had officially signed on to the hospital’s
website to keep up with his progress.”
The website has a button to allow visitors to make
donations, but that by itself wasn’t enough for Jaeden.
“I’m 8 years old,” said the North
Park Elementary School
third-grader. “I think if every 8-year-old gave $8, or whatever they could
give, that would help the family a lot.”
In addition to the website, an account has been set up at
Bank of America. Potential donors can visit any BofA branch and mention the
Dylan Bliss fund to make a contribution.
Courtney said that Terry Jo is staying at the Ronald
McDonald House near the hospital, but that the length of Dylan’s stay and the
extent of his injures are still unknown. To sign up for information or to make
donations, click here .