OWENSBORO, Ky. (2/7/14) – Imagine dropping your son or daughter off at a sleepover and then being awakened by a call informing you your child was in the hospital after a terrible accident.
“When you let your baby spend the night with a friend, you never expect them not to come back,“ said Vanessa Gentry-Smith, mother of Corey Gentry, who after a Jan. 25 accident is in critical condition at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. “I don’t know why this happened; I don’t have any answers.”
Corey was an average 15 year-old boy before his accident.
He attended Graves County High School, loved to play football, and “everyone loved him”, says Gentry-Smith.
Corey isn’t quite himself at present.
The Mayfield teen has been sedated for nearly two weeks with chest and feeding tubes connected to his fragile body.
Doctors believe that his back may be broken, but his brain is not stable enough to get a CT scan, said Gentry-Smith.
A little brother to six siblings, Corey’s fight has been “hour by hour”, says his mother. Due to the brain injury, doctors won’t be able to tell how he will react to his injuries until he wakes up. The doctors initially said that if he made it through the first 72 hours, he would continue to improve, and mostly, he has, said his mother.
But, when SurfKY spoke to Gentry-Smith on Thursday, Corey was fighting much harder than in previous days.
She said Corey has developed what is called Sympathetic Storming, where his body is unable to mediate the response of the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal glands that cause stress responses.
Corey has been battling a 104.2 degree fever, extremely high blood pressure, and the flu. Yet despite the hardships, his mother says “he’s strong” and “a fighter”.
“When he wakes up, he might not be the same kid as when he left that night,” said Gentry-Smith. “I don’t even care. I just want my son to wake up and be okay.”
The Graves County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the accident in which Corey and three other passengers (two other juveniles) were involved.
Gentry-Smith says she “doesn’t have time to be angry," though.
Sitting by his bedside every hour of every day, the single mother is only focused on her son’s condition and healing process.
Friends of the Gentry-Smith family have set up a fund to help with finances during Corey’s stay at Vanderbilt hospital.
SurfKY News Lead Reporter
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