HOUSTON — The family of a man who suffered brain damage after a motorcycle crash in June is holding a fundraiser to help with medical expenses.
The benefit will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the Piqua VFW, 8756 N. County Road 25A, Piqua, to pay for medical bills, insurance deductibles and medical equipment.
On June 12, Caleb J. Skeens, 24, of Houston, was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton due to injuries resulting from a crash while riding his yellow 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
“Unfortunately, Caleb isn’t at a point where he can be left alone. He will be having therapy five days a week,” said Billie Skeens, Caleb’s sister and organizer of the event. “Had to help with the expenses and two deductibles Caleb has.”
Caleb is also covered under by his dad’s insurance.
According to the crash report from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday, June 12, at 2:31 p.m., Caleb was traveling eastbound in the 3200 block of Millcreek Road at a high rate of speed when a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Tommy R. Beaver, 45, of Piqua, pulled out of a driveway onto Millcreek Road and into Skeens’ path, causing him to lose control of his motorcycle and skid across the pavement. Skeens was ejected from his bike and into the grass on the south side of the roadway. His Harley came to a stop in the roadway. The truck pulled forward after being struck by the bike.
Caleb’s mother, Sherry Skeens, said her son sustained a traumatic brain injury — frontal lobe brain trauma. She said he was in the hospital and rehab center for about four weeks, during which time he was on life support. After coming off of life support, Caleb was then transported to the Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, to begin therapy. Before he could be released, Sherry had to move Caleb out of his house and make a place for him at her home, as he works to recover from the trauma.
“It’s all very overwhelming. (Caleb) was very independent and he never would have wanted to have to move back in with his mom,” Sherry said. “I was told he will get back all he will get back (to recover) within one year. But I feel very grateful that I have such a supportive family and kids. All of the help is very appreciated.”
Caleb had to relearn to walk and talk again. He currently has physical, speech and cognitive therapy three times a week. Therapy will be increased to five days a week at the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development and the Nicholas School in Piqua at the end of August.
“Caleb is confused and doesn’t remember the crash or other (recent) events that occurred during the last several years. He can remember things from a long, long time ago and after coming off life support, but not other events,” such as the death of a family member, Sherry said. “The doctors said it is definitely a miracle he survived. I really have high hopes for him at the Piqua neurology center and Nicholas School. I really hope that he gets back to close where he once was.”
Billie said her mother, who lives alone with Caleb and her teenage sister, is unable to work right now due to Caleb’s care. Because she had previously put on other events for others in need in the past, she knew how to organize this event for Caleb.
The cost of the dinner at the door, or presale, is $10. The meal includes shredded chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, a roll, dessert and a non-alcoholic drink. Presale tickets are available by calling Billie Skeens at 937-407-5150. Other drinks, including soda pop, water, beer and top shelf liquor will be available for purchase, from $1 to $3, at the VFW. Several donated items will be raffled off with the purchase of “Cake Walk” tickets, for Scentsy candle and wax warmer products, woodworking signs, hair and nail salon gift cards, a variety of restaurant and store gift cards, several gift baskets, electronics, and more. Cake Walk raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets are $1 each, or an arm length for $10. Donations are still being collected and accepted. A DJ will be providing music for the event.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.