Community rallies around Collierville boy injured in roller coaster accident
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis community is rallying around an 11-year-old boy and his family after he was seriously injured in a roller coaster accident in Branson, Missouri.
Aalando Perry went through yet another surgery Friday at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after he was trapped underneath a roller coaster earlier this week.
One family member says what happened is tragic, but how the community has responded in support has been wonderful. Last Sunday, Aalando from Collierville was involved in a horrific accident while on a family vacation.
“This couldn’t have happened to an individual at a worse time, and likewise a kid who is a sweet kid,” said Javier Baily, an extended family member.
Aalando has Marfan’s Disease and is almost completely blind. Family members say park employees insisted he ride the Branson coaster alone.
In the middle of the ride, the coaster stopped and Aalando thought the ride was over and stood up. When the coaster started again, he was trapped underneath the ride.
It took firefighters an hour and a half to free him and rush him to the hospital.
“This kid has permanent injuries that he’ll have to learn to walk again,” said Bailey.
Baily started a GoFundMe that has already raised thousands of dollars to help with the extensive medical bills. He says others have stepped up as well.
“It was so unfortunate and certainly heartbreaking,” said Ron Redwing who has helped the Perry family.
Redwing, a public relations executive in Memphis, helped coordinate and organize a private medivac to bring Aalando home to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Other parents in Collierville are collecting cards to help lift Aalando’s spirits.
“It really says a lot about Memphis. This is who we really are as a community. And just to see so many people pitching in, anyway they can, however they can,” said Redwing.
Bailey says he’s thankful for the support and the family will need continued support for many months. Bailey knows this firsthand as his son, a former collegiate football player, was hit by a car as he helped change a tire, and lost his leg.
Bailey’s son plans to visit Aalando soon to give him some encouragement.
“He wants him to see that you can still have life even after being injured.
“We’re all praying for this kid. And we’re very hopeful that he’ll come out ok,” said Bailey.
Bailey says the goal is to avoid amputation, but that may be inevitable.
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