Courtesy Elizabeth Trosper
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009 | 1:59 a.m.
What: Car wash fundraiser for David Hickman
When: Saturday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Henderson First United Methodist Church, 609 E. Horizon Dr.
For more info: 565-6049
The friends of a Henderson teen recovering from a head injury suffered while riding a dirt bike last month are rallying to raise funds for his care.
David Hickman, a 16-year-old junior at Foothill High School, was riding a motorcycle in the dry lakebed near Boulder City last month when he crashed. After the accident, he was in a coma for a week, and while he has regained consciousness and is expected to be moved from the trauma center at University Medical Center to a rehabilitation facility this week, family members say they are bracing for a long recovery.
“He has improved greatly, but he’s still not my David,” his mother, Carol Hickman, said.
Though the family has insurance, medical bills for David’s extensive hospital stay and rehabilitation are expected to pile up. In order to help the family of 10 with those costs, the Hickmans’ friends at Henderson First United Methodist Church are planning a car wash Saturday to raise funds for the family.
The car wash will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Henderson First United Methodist Church, 609 E. Horizon Drive. Members of the church’s youth group will be on-hand to wash cars and accept donations for the Hickman family.
“We were all just thinking of ways to help David and his parents with money for the medical bills and stuff … when someone just said ‘a car wash’ and we all just kind of jumped on it,” said Brooke Trosper, a member of the youth group at Henderson First United Methodist.
Trosper said she has known David since kindergarten and, like just about anybody else who knows him, considers him a great friend and wanted to do something to help him.
“He’s very outgoing,” Trosper said. “He likes sports; he likes dirt bike riding. He gets along with about everybody.”
Carol Hickman said the church’s help has been immeasurable in the nearly two months since her son’s accident, providing meals for her other seven children while she spends as much time as possible with David and keeping a steady stream of supportive calls and cards coming into the family’s home and David’s hospital room.
She said she was equally impressed by the church’s youth in setting up the car wash fundraiser.
“They’re a very good group of kids, and for them to think of this, it’s just amazing to see,” she said.
Though doctors have told them that the odds are against David making a full recovery, his family members say they have talked to enough people who have had similar injuries and made it all the way back to have hope.
“We’re praying for the miracle that he’ll come out of this and be back with his peers,” said his father, Rodney Hickman.
Rodney Hickman said he hopes that what happened to his son can provide a lesson for other teens. Though David normally wore a helmet when riding, Rodney Hickman said, for whatever reason, he was not wearing one at the time of the accident.
“Be sure you wear your helmet,” Rodney Hickman said. “(David) decided the helmet he had on at that moment just didn’t fit him right, so he tossed it aside, thinking like kids do, saying he’d be back for it in a minute.”
The Hickmans said they already have a long list of people to thank for their son’s care. At the time of the accident, they said, David wasn’t breathing, and he was resuscitated by his brother and friends who had been riding with him, who kept CPR going until help arrived. Then there were the medics and the life flight crew that were on the scene within 10 minutes, they said.
“We are so grateful for the Boulder City rescue unit that arrived on the scene and the Flight for Life unit that arrived on the scene,” Rodney Hickman said. “They saved his life.”
The Hickmans also expressed gratitude to the doctors and nurses at University Medical Center who have cared for their son for almost two months.
Now, the family said they are just waiting and praying for their son to come back. Rodney Hickman said David is an avid musician -- playing bass fiddle in the Foothill High School Orchestra and running the sound equipment for the Henderson First United Methodist Church choir.
Though school had always been somewhat of a struggle for his son, Rodney Hickman said David worked hard in summer school this year, and after seeing his grades go from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s, it was like a light went on for him.
“He saw that he could do it,” Rodney Hickman said. “That’s the way he is. He came charging out of summer school, saying he’s going to go to college now.”
And while the family hopes their son gets a chance to live that life, they’re also hoping that he is able to get back to bringing joy into theirs.
“David has the kind of soul where he just brightens you up,” Rodney Hickman said. “He’s just a very happy, ebullient kid and he makes you feel better when he’s around -- just calms you down. He’s just a great kid.”