The Cerna Foundation is committed to supporting patients with traumatic brain injury! The co-founders, Marc Friedman and Nick Payzant, are passionate about helping those with the greatest need, regardless of circumstances, get the opportunity to have everything available to them that will contribute toward patient healing and care as well as family support.
Thankfully, the Lewis family in San Diego and the Cerna Foundation have found each other! In this case, a young man has a severe traumatic brain injury and is in serious need. The father, Dan, a Youth Ministry Leader at Pomerado Christian Church in Poway, his wife Michelle and their two sons Nathan (now 19) and Matthew (16) are a loving family foursome. They have fun hanging out together and living out their faith. Sadly, the Lewis’s recently suffered tragedy on the night of February 21, 2020. Six months ago, Nate, 18 years old and attending Biola University, was hanging out with his friends on what was likely to be just like any other Friday night. The friends were skateboarding, Nate in the lead, when he turned onto a street with an oncoming truck and was hit. Nate was rushed to UCI Medical Trauma Center where he was unresponsive having sustained major head and brain trauma. Neurosurgeons removed part of his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain to allow healing. Nate remained in the ICU until stabilization. Later transferred to Kaiser and in a minimally conscious state, sometimes able to breathe on his own, in a decision made for his safety and increased chance of healing in a familiar environment surrounded by loved ones, Nate was brought home. At least for a time.
Nate’s recovery has been successful yet slow going. The family has faith that God can restore him (see 1 Peter 5:10 #RestoreNate). He shows signs of improvement often, even if minimal, during therapy sessions or when he hears the sound of his girlfriend, Camille’s voice. The goal is to get Nate to certain physical and neurological milestones so he can enter an inpatient rehabilitation facility with a program aligned directly with his needs. Until then, however, the costs of Nate’s care during his home stay in addition to the renovations to be made to the Lewis house to accommodate Nate when he returns, will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Nate and his family have experienced such support and generosity and are extremely grateful to all those who have reached out to help these past several months. There’s still a long way to go! The great thing is, the amount of money donated doesn’t have to be huge, even if costs are huge! It only takes a small amount of money from a large amount of people to reach big fundraising goals like Nate’s. Even just a few dollars can make a positive impact on Nate and his recovery.
The Lewis’s have also started a T-shirt and bracelet campaign to help raise funds for Nate’s care (please see below). All donations and proceeds from every sale go directly to Nate’s care, services, supplies and equipment. The Cerna Foundation and the Lewis family thank you in advance for your generosity, kindness, thoughts and prayers. Nate has a long journey to healing ahead. Please help him along on that journey!