At the end of January, Brooke Craig was driving her pickup on Glasscock Road in Rock Hill. Somehow, her truck flipped upside down and landed in the woods.
The then-17-year-old, who wasnt wearing a seat belt, was ejected through the windshield. Minutes later, a man, someone she actually knew, saw her car and then saw Brooke.
He called 911, Brooke was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and then the fight for her life began.
Thats the way the story goes according to Crystal Beck, Brookes cousin, and one of the family members responsible for organizing a fundraiser Saturday at The Village Market.
They want to help Brooke, her father, Ricky, and her sister, Brittany, 20, with the medical expenses that have piled up after a hospital stay that lasted nearly five months and a recovery still very much ongoing.
In addition to injuries to her pelvis, wrist, ribs and a lung, Beck said, Brooke suffered a severe brain injury.
They actually had to remove a piece of her skull until the swelling could go down, she said.
Through surgery and draining of fluid to relieve the brains swelling, Brooke had two ministrokes that have left her with lasting damage.
Shes unable to move her left leg, Beck said. She can now move her left fingers and slightly lift her left arm.
A little more hope
Slowly but surely, Beck said, Brooke is learning how to be Brooke again.
Now recovering at home, she has five therapy sessions a week for her body and her speech.
Brooke has been able to remember names and recognize faces, and shes speaking again, Beck said, even if she keeps her sentences simple.
But theres one area where Brookes mind is completely intact.
She can sing every lyric to every country song that comes on the radio, Beck said.
Saturdays fundraiser is a community and family effort. Becks father, Eddie Craig, is involved in the Masters Car Club of Rock Hill.
The event will feature a classic car show, without at entry fee. Instead, participants will be asked for donations to help Brooke. There will be food, a silent auction, a raffle, a 50/50 drawing, live music and more.
Theres been an enormous amount of support for Brooke and her family already.
Weve seen a lot of people that dont know the family and dont know us, Beck said.
That kind of stuff, to me, just gives me a little more hope in the world.
UPDATE: On Monday, two days after the event, Beck told The Herald that more than $10,000 had been raised or donated to assist with Brooke's medical costs.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072