QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - It's a story of survival and beating the odds. A 5-year-old Berks County boy is inspiring others after a disastrous crash, but now he needs the community's help to come home.
One year ago, Brandon Warbington was your average 4-year-old. He was playful and smart, but on September 1, 2011, his life changed forever.
"We're coming up Route 70 and it's merging, and there's oncoming traffic," said Linda Warbington, Brandon's mother.
They were in Manchester, N.J., coming back from getting food, when they were hit head-on with tragedy.
According to Brandon's mom, her boyfriend became physically abusive with both her and Brandon and drove their car head first into an oncoming truck.
The boyfriend has since passed away. Linda suffered seven broken ribs, and Brandon was unresponsive.
"The first thing they told us was he was brain dead because of the damage done to the frontal lobe and the brain stem," said Linda.
Doctors said Brandon would never move and never communicate. Linda was twice faced with pulling the plug.
"I told him he had to give me a sign that he was going to still fight. I rubbed the back of his head, something I've done since he was born, and he moved his foot, and then he put his finger on top of mine," Linda said.
For the past 13 months, Brandon has proven doctors wrong. He's beaten the odds by moving his lips, his fingers and even talking.
"It just blew my mind being here, just seeing him, he's come a long way," said Jim Folk, a long-time family friend.
Friday was the first time Folk has met Brandon. He's known Linda since high school, and after the accident, he established Brandon's Angels, a fundraising effort to help bring Brandon home.
Brandon has been moved to a rehab facility, and is stable. Linda has completed all the training, now they just need a ramp built at their Upper Tulpehocken Township house before the little guy can head home.
"We need lumber, we need to get wood, we need to be able to build this thing and we just need help with everything, really," said Folk.
Everything, including medical bills. Folk is organizing fundraisers, and also is looking for someone to offer a venue.
Brandon who was told "never," has gained 33 pounds and he's been given the all clear to go to school.
"You tell him he can't do something, he's going to prove you wrong," said Linda.
His fight continues, but he's not giving up. If you want to help Brandon and his family, you can visit the Brandon's Angels website to learn how to donate.
Brandon was recently move to a rehab facility in the hopes of a recovery. The family will be incurring a tremendous amount of medical bills compiled by all the additional at-home care he will need once released.
Allentown, PA 18102