Family, community rallies around young man after bike accident

PARCHMENT, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A recent Parchment High School graduate is on the long road to recovery after a biking accident landed him in critical condition.

It happened last Wednesday while on a trip to California to visit his family.

Since then, the city of Parchment has stepped up, and showed support for Charlie Eaton.

The accident has touched a lot of people in Parchment, from his friends to his former soccer coach. When you travel around the city, you'll see orange ribbons everywhere in support of Eaton's family.

They're hoping to see him come home soon, but his recovery will take time.

Charlie's mother Nancy Eaton spoke to Newschannel 3 on the phone Wednesday night, as she watched him go through rehab from his California hospital room.

It's small things, like crossing his hands, that makes his family smile.

He stood up and sat down Wednesday, and was able to acknowledge that his mother was in the room, she says--a big step from one week ago.

The avid biker took a trip to the Sacramento area, and met his cousins for the first time.

On a bike ride alone, he crashed, and doctors were forced to remove a section of his skull to accommodate swelling on the brain.

"My husband called me and said Charlie has been in an accident and was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter and had emergency brain surgery, it was worst day of my life," Nancy said.

The gifted athlete is heading to Western Michigan in the fall, but his hometown is rallying behind Charlie, tying orange ribbons around town to match his fiery red hair.

"Tell them I love everybody in Parchment, thanks for praying, and we'll be home as soon as we can," Nancy said. "It's just amazing. I don't know how I'm going to thank them all. Bringing him home, that's how I'm going to thank them."

On Sunday night, August 10, there's a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Sports Forum on Mosel Avenue, from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Proceeds will help out the family with expenses while they stay in California.