ONLY ON WDRB: Teen recovers after car crash driven by woman high - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ONLY ON WDRB: Teen recovers after car crash driven by woman high on drugs/alcohol

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a car driven by a mother high on drugs and alcohol crashed, severely injuring her son's friend inside in January. The crash in Graves County, Kentucky changed Corey Gentry's life forever, as he suffered a brain injury. He was in a coma for seven weeks.

"The state troopers come and they got me from my house and took me to the hospital where he was placed on a vent, had chest tubes and they gave him two hours to live," said Vanessa Gentry, Corey's mom.
 
But the 16-year-old is a fighter, making a miraculous recovery. He is trying his hardest to speak. At Frazier Rehab, he's going through speech therapy, playing games and communicating through a computer. He can be seen smiling. He gives a thumbs-up for "yes" and shows a sign for "I love you" to his therapists for all they've done. He's also learning how to stand up again and move his arms.

"Usually after a brain injury, there are deficits," said Mary Beth Conniff, an occupational therapist. "To what those deficits are going to be, we don't have a crystal ball. We can't say. He's going to be working with a lot of these issues for a long time."
 
His best friend's mom, Tabitha Wheeler, was behind the wheel with her boyfriend, her son and Corey back in January. She's charged with assault, driving under the influence and having an open alcohol container in the car. Corey and his best friend were ejected from the back seat. All of them went to the hospital, but Corey is the only one who isn't home.

"I feel sorry for her," Gentry said. "Some days, I struggle being angry, but that isn't good for Corey. One day, I'll forgive this lady for what she did. Today isn't the day of course, but one day."
 
In Corey's hospital room, there are dozens of pictures, some with labels of the important people in his life. His mom says Corey doesn't need the labels because he recognizes everyone.

Gentry said, "It shows his progress from where he started here, to having multiple shunts put in because shunts didn't work right."
 
Friend Alena Chesser set up a "Go Fund Me" page for Corey with a goal of $5,000 to help buy a trailer for his wheelchair and for other medical costs. Chesser said, "He's not able to speak for himself . I just want to be there for him."
 
In the next few weeks, the plan is for Corey to get outpatient therapy. His mom hopes he'll be able to sit up by himself and eventually be well enough to go home.

"He's my world," Gentry said.

Wheeler is expected back in court at the end of the month, as she prepares for trial.

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