A 12-year-old boy seriously injured in a sledding accident had a one day pass out of the hospital Sunday. Caleb Eason said he chose to spend it with his friends and family at church.
Caleb suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was thrown from a car-hood sled being pulled by an ATV. Since the accident on February 11, Caleb’s only been out of the hospital for a few hours at a time.
Family said Caleb has made a lot of progress. With that progress, the hospital gave Caleb a one day pass to spend outside the hospital walls.
Caleb said he wanted to use it on a Sunday so he could go to church.
“It was fun being in church, and being able to be with all my family and friends,” Caleb said.
Caleb’s father, Daniel Eason stood by Caleb the entire church service. Daniel said Caleb will be taking a test early this week to see if he can start holding down liquids.
"If everything goes well and we can raise his sodium level, they'll release him on Thursday," Daniel said.
An adult was driving the ATV that was pulling the car hood, where Caleb was sitting. That adult's name was not released. Deputies decided not to file any charges in the case.
Members from the church are selling raffle tickets to help cover Caleb's medical expenses. The prize is an off-shore fishing trip for six people. Tickets can be purchased for $5 until May 1st.
Tickets are being sold at Pleasant Acres Free Will Baptist Church, Bynum’s Drug Store in downtown New Bern, and New Bern Christian Academy.
An online fundraiser has also been set up for Caleb's family. As of Sunday afternoon, $4,434 has been raised. CLICK HERE to visit the fundraiser page on gofundme.com.
A 12-year-old boy seriously injured in a sledding accident is making "great progress" in his recovery from surgery, said a family friend.
Caleb Eason and another child were riding on a homemade sled --a car hood-- on the afternoon of Feb. 11. The hood was being pulled by an ATV at about 10 mph off Old Airport Road in Craven County, according to the Sheriff's Office.
But somehow, the two kids on the hood were ejected, officials said. Caleb then hit his head on a tree and suffered very serious head trauma.
Caleb is still in the ICU at Vidant Medical Center, said Pastor Scott Coghill of Pleasant Acres Free Will Baptist Church. But the boy is showing improvement.
"Caleb is making some great progress. I talked to his dad again [Monday] morning," said Coghill. "[Sunday] was just kind of a miracle day. They started subtly bringing him out of the medicine that's kept him sedated."
"He opened his right eye, which was a huge victory,"Coghill continued. "He was able to look at his mom and his dad-- and by a sedated nod, he was able to recognize them both. He's able to move on command all four of his limbs, which is a pretty big deal. So, we'll take every step we can get."
Coghill explained that a friend of the family was pulling the boys when the accident happened.
"They were going really slow. It was a wide open field. We think probably [Caleb] hit some swell in the ground and it just launched him from the hood he was on," said Coghill.
Once taken to Vidant Medical Center, Caleb underwent surgery.
"Because of the swelling and the bleeding on the brain, they had to do two surgeries that removed portions of the skull to allow for that swelling," Coghill told NewsChannel 12.
Doctors plan to put those skull portions back in if the recovery goes smoothly, Coghill said.
"He's got a long road ahead of him.," said Coghill. "A lot of rehab, probably."
No charges will be filed in this case, investigators said.