Benefit slated for comatose teen

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 9, 2009

Brookhaven Academy junior Callie Cole was injured Sept. 10 in anaccident on Highway 583, and still remains in a coma two monthslater.

Cole’s 2008 Chevrolet Malibu collided with some heavy equipmenton the side of the highway as she made her way home from a softballgame the night of the 10th, officials said. The 16-year-olddaughter of Frances and Tommy Cole was taken to the University ofMississippi Medical Center, where she has remained in a coma eversince.

As such, the Enterprise community decided to pull together, asthey do when things get tough for their own people, and raise themoney for Cole to have an experimental procedure that could bringher back to consciousness.

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The “Helping Hands for Callie” committee decided to host ashrimp dinner on Friday, Nov. 20, hoping that the money raised willhelp offset costs for her stay at Shepherd’s Center in Georgia,where she continues her fight, area residents said.

“This is our way of trying to help them,” said Brenda Sasser, along-time friend of the family. “That’s the reason we’re trying tohelp them, so they don’t quite have so much to worry about.”

The Brookhaven Academy community has held some fundraisers andrallied prayer support, Sasser said, and the people of theEnterprise community have banded together as well. In recent yearsthey have done several fundraisers for people in need. They aremustering up support for Cole, because she is one of their own.

Sasser said there are new procedures that could make thedifference for Cole if anything can.

“There’s a new drug that, the way I understand it, that if she’sever going to wake up this will wake her up,” she said. “So she’sgoing to Atlanta to get the drug, she and Frances will be there forsix weeks.”

The event, which will feature gospel singing, a silent auction,and a cutlery display, will take place at the Lincoln Center,Sasser said. People can buy tickets in advance for boiled shrimpplates. “Helping Hands for Callie” members said it would help ifpeople buy their tickets as early as possible so that there will bea count of how many plates need to be made.

Plates can be picked up from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday,Sasser said, and can be bought any time in the meantime from acommittee member.

Anyone interested in a shrimp plate or in volunteering help ordonations for Cole can call Sara Nelson at (601) 833-8337, CydneeRussell at (601) 734-2534, or Cheri Lou Altman at (601)734-6361.