Oklahoma Teen Who Nearly Died In 2013 ATV Crash Makes Strides In Recovery
TULSA, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma teenager who was never supposed to walk or talk again spoke to us for the first time after an ATV crash nearly took his life.
For more than two years since, Christian Mayberry has been living with a traumatic brain injury.
Christian's sense of humor doesn't skip a beat, and that's probably why wherever he goes, he's making new friends.
Sometimes using a wheelchair is easier for Christian, but he can and does walk. And because he's still a little unsteady, a few helping hands are usually close by.
“I'm a miracle in the making,” he said.
Christian is a miracle for many reasons -- one of them is that he's even able to sit down and talk with us.
“They left the scene of an accident,” he said.
He was in an ATV crash in September 2013.
8/19/2015 Related Story: Muldrow Teen Walks Again, Testifies Against Woman Accused Of Leaving Him To Die
Angela Gray, the mother of a new friend of Christian's, is accused of driving drunk and wrecking the ATV with a sober then-16-year-old Christian as her passenger.
Court records say Gray left Christian unconscious in a ditch for three hours before calling for help. Gray was charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident. She went to trial in August, but the jury was deadlocked.
Gray will go back to trail, this time for conspiracy, child endangerment by driving under the influence.
Her son, Joey, and a friend, Kyle Brannon, are each charged with conspiracy. An affidavit says they cleaned up the scene by throwing out beer, then came up with a story to tell law enforcement to keep Gray out of trouble.
Christian says he remembers that night, but his traumatic brain injury makes thinking back hard.
“Me trying to think, using the brain makes me really, really, really dizzy,” Christian said.
But what doesn't make his head hurt is a meeting Christian says he had with Jesus in heaven the night of the crash.
“He told me you are a true man of God,” Christian said. “And I said, ‘I would love to come back to Earth to tell people about you.’”
Before he could spread The Word, Christian spent more than half a year in a hospital bed. Doctors told his parents he'd likely be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, and he proved them wrong.
10/9/2015 Related Story: Jury Deadlocked, Judge Declares Mistrial In Near-Fatal ATV Crash
And while there's much celebrate, there still are many hurdles ahead.
“It hurts having my eyes open,” Christian said.
And that's where the Guardians of Freedom Foundation comes in. It's a nonprofit that helps veterans and their children.
They're raffling off a pergola at the Wild Woods Rustic Furniture booth at the Tulsa State Fair.
“Every dollar helps,” the foundation’s Franklin L. Kiker Jr. said.
The money raised will help Christian, and his dad, get hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Christian's dad, who served in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, has suffered two heart attacks and a stroke since his son's crash.
“He'll be in treatment with him at the same time,” Kiker said. “It's a 48-inch chamber and they'll both be able to go in there together.
Kiker hopes to be able to provide the Mayberry family with four months’ worth of treatment.
Some research suggests hyperbaric chambers reduce swelling within the skull and stimulate brain activity.
Christian is hoping for that, and he’s also praying his migraines go away and his eyesight improves.
“I need that bad,” he said. “You don't know how bad I want to see perfect again. I know when I can see perfect again, I betcha my walking will get a lot better.
Pray for Mayberry Facebook page
Christian's vision for the future is one he says is shared by many strangers, all who have been following him, literally every step of the way.
“All my Facebook ‘Pray for Mayberry’ followers that pray for me, thank you all so much,” he said. “Thank you, thank you very much.”
The Guardians of Freedom booth is located on the upper level of Expo Square.
The raffle will last through Nov. 9. The drawing will be held during a fundraiser Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. at the Black and Gold Park in Glenpool.
Tickets or donations can be made by calling (918) 402-6629 or by visiting the Guardians of Freedom website.