On Your Side: Support builds for paralyzed teen
We first told you about Joshua Southworth back in March. The teenager is now wheelchair bound after he was paralyzed in a trampoline accident in the back yard of his family's home in Red Rock, just north of Reno.
"Josiah came in and said Joshua just seriously got hurt," recalled Joshua's brother Jeremiah during our interview back in March. "We need your help and come outside," he was told.
The family has rallied around Joshua and provided him positive support as he focuses on recovering from his injury.
Joshua is now at Neuroworx in Salt Lake City. It is a rehabilitation center that specializes in helping people recover from spinal injuries.
"I'm pretty happy with how my recovery is going," he told us.
The hours are long and the exercises can be grueling. Joshua spends part of his day working on a system that mimics the concept of a video game to help him build some strength and dexterity in his hands and fingers.
In recent months he has made progress and is now regaining some of the use of his arms after not knowing if he ever would.
"As you can see I have trouble moving my arm up in the air but I can't wait until I can reach up over my head.," he explained. "I'm doing my best to get my right arm to catch up with my left".
Meantime back here at home, community support and dollars are adding up. An on-line Gofundme account has now raised more than $30,000 to help the family buy a new wheelchair accessible van. A local foundation, which has chosen to remain anonymous, has stepped up to match that $30,000 by donating it to the For Kids Foundation which will then be in charge of dispersing it to the family.
Annie Goni-Stewart is the executive director of the For Kids Foundation.
"One of our bigger benefactors in town saw your story a couple of months ago about the Southworth family and reached out to the For Kids Foundation," she said.
The For Kids Foundation as well as the Childrens' Cabinet have also made donations of their own to Joshua's family.
Now a new van is within reach for the family, while Joshua is finding that hard work and perseverance are putting more things within his reach.
Joshua says the love and support from his family continues to motivate him.
"Without family this would be so much harder," he said. "I'd probably give up. But they help with everything with me."
In the midst of all this the family also found out they were being evicted from their home. The good news is they have a found a new home and are in the process of getting settled there.
If you would like to help there are a couple of ways you can. The For Kids Foundation accepts tax deductible donations to help children who may not quality for other forms of community support. You can reach the For Kids Foundation at 775-741-5231 or log on to www.forkidsfoundation.org.
You can also donate through the go-fund me account which has been set up to help the family buy that van they need. The go-fund me website is www.gofundme.com/the-joshua-southworth-van-project.
We will continue to follow Joshua's story to keep you informed about his progress.