MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Friends and families of the approximately 50 people, including many children, hit by an SUV that …
MADISON, Wis. (AP) –
Friends and families of the about 50 people, including many children who were hit by an SUV driving through a Christmas parade in a suburb of Milwaukee, say they suffered life-threatening injuries and some clung to life.
A young girl who is a member of a dance troupe hit by the SUV woke up for a moment on cell phone video and said to the doctors, “Just read me together again,” according to her GoFundMe fundraising page organized by a family friend.
The fundraiser describes the extent of some of the damage from the incident, which has left five dead so far and 48 injured. The suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., was scheduled to appear in court for the first time Tuesday.
A girl named Jessalyn, whose last name is not given, is shown smiling directly to the camera on a GoFundMe page, wearing a white Santa hat and with matching pompoms. She is standing with other girls on the Waukesha Xtreme Dance team in a photo taken moments before she was hit.
Jessalyn is “fighting for her life”, according to the fundraising account created by family friend Oscar Luna. She lost a kidney, broke her pelvis and has injuries to her liver and lungs, Luna said.
“This holiday season is going to be a brutal one for them,” he said of their family.
In an update released Tuesday morning, Luna wrote that she had woken up shortly Monday.
“She is not fully aware of the seriousness of her injuries, but she managed to say, ‘just glue me back together,'” he wrote. “Only a child could describe himself as a little doll in this situation.”
Julia, who also marched with her dance team, and whose last name is not disclosed either, “is in the fight for her life,” and suffers from brain trauma after being hit, says her fundraising page, created by family friend Jen McCarthy.
“Everyone who knows this little girl knows what joy she brings to the world,” the ad reads. “She has a heart of gold, a smile that can light up the room and is loved by so many.”
Brothers Tucker and Jackson Sparks were among three sets of siblings hospitalized after being hit by the SUV, and they remain at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, according to an online fundraiser organized by a cousin.
Tucker, 12, has head injuries but is recovering, and Jackson, 8, suffered a more serious brain injury and “needs a miracle,” according to Alyssa Albro, niece of the boys’ parents, Aaron and Sheri Sparks.
“The whole family is devastated,” Albro wrote. She said the boys’ parents are by their beds.
Aidan Laughrin, a senior at Waukesha South High School, was hit while performing with the marching band, and got broken ribs, according to an online fundraiser.
The family is “tough, but the road ahead will also be tough, both physically and emotionally,” the organizer wrote.
Another band member, saxophonist Tyler Pudleiner, was also hit and has undergone two surgeries since Sunday. “He has a long way to go,” wrote Joane Chmiel, one of two people raising money to help Pudleiner.
Tamara Rosentreter did what she loved and entertained the audience as part of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies when she was hit by the SUV that took the lives of three of her fellow dancers.
The mother of four and grandmother of one were the leader of the squad, according to an online fundraiser seeking help for Rosenstretter’s recovery. The organizer sent a message from Rosenstreter, who said “I am still here. Lots of pain, stitches, broken bones and lots of bumps and bruises. Loves you all.”
She described how one woman prayed for her on the spot “to help give me peace and comfort” and how another kept her warm with a blanket.
“This tragedy is so hard to wrap my head around,” she said, saying her “heart hurts” for the victims and their families, those who witnessed the devastation and “for my teammates and their families, who are mine. family.”
Lucero Isabel Perales says several family members were part of the parade and were hit by the SUV. It includes a cousin with a skull fracture who is in a coma, an uncle who underwent six hours of surgery for a broken leg and another cousin with bruises all over his body.
“This is a very tough time for all of us, it was something so unexpected,” wrote Isabel Perales.
More than $ 732,000 had been raised by noon Tuesday for the 19 verified GoFundMe sites for parade victims.
Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan.
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