On the morning of July 18, Roy Richards, 19, a lifelong Santee resident and of , was skateboarding with a couple of friends. While cruising along Roy's skateboard malfunctioned and caused him to crash, instantly suffering a fractured skull, broken rib, broken nose and abrasions all over his body.
The skull fracture caused a severe brain injury, doctors feared would take his life, according to Bobbie Burness, a close friend of the family. Roy is still in a at Sharp Memorial Hospital, and according to his mother, Roy is "no longer in imminent danger of dying, but his battle had really just begun."
Community support for the teen and his family has already begun, with a car wash last weekend, “Stay Strong” T-shirts for sale, and even a lemonade stand/bake sale, to help fundraise for his medical costs.
The skull fracture included a severe brain injury, doctors feared would take his life before the day was over. But the next day Roy was still here and fighting and by his side (and still there) his family, parents Dawn and Brian Reed and Sister Cortney Richards and a large group of friends. Then Roy beat the odds by surviving the first 48 hours.
The swelling in his brain threatened to take his life every day but Roy kept fighting, surprising his doctors but not those that love him. We know he is a fighter and will never give up. His mom finally got the amazing news that Roy was no longer in imminent danger of dying but his battle had really just begun.
He is still in a coma at Sharp Memorial Hospital and no one knows for sure what his future holds. The only certainty is that a long difficult rehabilitation is ahead for him and his family.
He is already showing great progressive signs, some movements, opening his eyes briefly squeezing his moms hand when she talks to him. Every day is a baby step forward with an occasional stumble backwards. Roy’s family and friends don’t care how long it takes. They plan to stay where they have been since that Thursday morning…by his side.
Roy’s friends, their parents and some community members have already started to rally to help raise the funds his family will need for the long recovery road ahead of them. The kids held a huge car wash last weekend, they sold “Stay Strong” T-shirts and two small children held a Lemonade Stand/Bake Sale. The support from this small part of our community that has heard about Roy has been amazing however help from the whole community could really give Roy and his parents a strong foundation for the rigorous road to recovery ahead of them with the best possible outcome.
Fundraising opportunities and donations are greatly needed and appreciated. This is the perfect opportunity to show what a wonderful close knit community Santee really is and how we never turn our back on one of our own.
An account has been set up for Roy at under the name of “Roy’s Recovery Fund.”
Offers of fundraising opportunities can be shared with family representative Bobbie Burness at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Santee neighbors for being the reason we all love to live here!
Bobbie Burness contributed to this post