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Support Grayson's Fight and Recovery

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Hello, my name is Matt Hodges. I'm raising recovery and medical funds for Grayson Manning and his Mother Mindy McConnell. Grayson was struck by a vehicle near his home on father's day. Grayson is at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans.

Grayson is currently intubated. He's gone through multiple surgeries to address life threatening issues. He still has more medical issues to repair. I will update more as Mindy and his family receive information.

This fund is to help this amazing kid and family through this traumatic experience. Grayson is a very strong young man. He is a paintball player based out of LA Xtreme Paintball. Grayson plays on Team 13, and the Sodakats. He's also traveled the country guesting on multiple teams such as TKO, and the Leftovers. He is a fighter and has a can do attitude! Grayson always has a big smile on his face! We are here for you buddy!

Update 6/17

Grayson had 3 emergency surgeries that according to doctors went well. One to implant something to keep the fluid and swelling in the brain down, one to repair the face and skull injuries, and one to save functioning in his eye. He has an MRI scheduled for this morning to assess spinal injuries. He will have reconstructive jaw surgery and orthopedic surgery on his pelvis scheduled for later this week. Once this is complete they will attempt to remove the breathing tube. He is currently listed in stable condition in the PICU at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

6/17 evening update. From Mindy

I’m overwhelmed and grateful beyond words for the love and support from hundreds of people. I know everyone wants an update, so here it is.
There is a lot of medical information about each injury that is constantly evolving. The big update today is from the MRI. He has some damage to the thalamus in his brain and a torn ligament in his neck. Due to the area of the brain that has the most damage, he is unconscious and doesn’t have the ability to wake up right now. He will undergo surgery for his neck on Wednesday and will be placed in a Halo. They are going to try to do his jaw reconstruction Wednesday also.

Milestones to look forward to within 2 weeks:
1. Getting off the ventilator
2. Waking up
3. Non-verbal communication

Many of you have asked about long-term damage. We were told to expect some impact to either his motor skills, and/or memory but we are far from knowing the extent of those things.

Current Conditions:
Brain bruising, Trauma to the thalamus
Torn ligament in his neck
Shattered jaw
Broken pelvis
Broken collarbone
Brain swelling (under treatment)
Facial lacerations and road rash (repaired)
Broken occipital bone (repaired)
Separated ocular nerve (repaired)

Thank you for ALL of the prayers, thoughts, messages, and help. I don’t have words to express my gratitude.

For those who have asked about visitation, visitors are allowed, but he is in ICU and is unconscious. Anyone is welcome, but I do want you to know what to expect. I’m hoping to flood him with visitors when he wakes up, so if you come now, please come back!!

6/18 Update from Mindy.

They have identified spinal cord damage, which is new. Tomorrow, they are putting in a feeding tube directly to his stomach and a tracheotomy with a ventilator and a Halo.

It’s been a rough day. Tomorrow will be better.

THANK YOU for all of the donations a GoFundMe, MealTrain, and Venmo. I am seeing it as it comes through my phone, but I haven’t had a chance to individually thank everyone. We are here for a while and there is so much he needs. I can’t express my gratitude enough.

Fox Channel 8, WGNO Channel 12, and WDSU Channel 6 met with us today. Those stories will run tonight. (Channel 6 aired at 6pm.)



Mindy -

Today was a good day! Grayson’s surgeries went well.
Before he went in for surgery, we were able to get reflex movement in all 4 limbs which is huge! The doctor attempted to get him to open his eye, but no luck yet.
His face is healing beautifully.
He is going to have 2 full days of rest and healing.
The jaw reconstruction is being pushed back to allow healing in the cervical spine.
Our main focus is on the brain DAI. That where our uphill battle remains.


We've got some pretty awesome tshirts available for purchase. Fight Like Grayson stickers included. Please find me on Facebook or Instagram for purchase information.


6/20 Update
Grayson had a day of healing and rest. He is still not breathing on his own and still unconscious, BUT he was such a strong fighter today. He is able to move and he moved A LOT- he grabbed at his tracheotomy and grabbed his chest vest. He swatted at nurses. He’s fighting!
Tomorrow, he will have his jaw reconstruction.

I don’t have words to express my gratitude for all of the support and love! I am trying my best to respond quickly to messages and I definitely want to thank each individual who has sent prayers, thoughts, and donations. Every single thing is helping this sweet, kind, amazing boy survive and eventually thrive. THANK YOU!


6/21 Update. Day 5
First, I can’t wait to individually thank everyone for the prayers, donations, visits, and thoughts. I don’t know how to show the amount of gratitude I have for you all setting him up to make as much of a recovery as he possibly can in the long run. Thank you and God Bless each of you.

Grayson had 7 surgeries this week and is all done for now. We will be here for a few months, but hopefully it’s all uphill from here.

We had an exciting morning, but I do want to clarify that Grayson did not “wake up.”
He’s still unconscious, but he is hearing us. He still needs the ventilator, but his own breaths are getting stronger. He is showing purposeful movement in his right arm and leg. Doctors are closely monitoring his left side, which isn’t responding like his right side.

Grayson’s jaw surgery went well today.

Grayson’s accident was 5 days ago. He is beating the odds with his progress everyday. Next steps are to let his body heal for a few days. Then doctors will start to let him take the lead on his recovery.

Update 6/23
Grayson had a busy day today. He had 18 visitors!! His big accomplishment today was opening BOTH eyes for the first time. He is still weaning off of his sedation drugs and his body is trying to regulate itself with all of the medications, machines, and changes.
I set his 2 week goals last week as
1. wake up
2. get off the ventilator
3. non-verbal communication
We reached goal 3, as he is responding with hand squeezes pretty regularly! Still pushing for goals 1 and 2 this week.

He’s fighting the odds and being strong.
THANK YOU everyone for everything. I don’t know where to start, so I just have to trust that each of you know how deeply grateful I am.

We are going to give him a day of rest, so we are asking visitors to please hold off on visiting Monday 6/24.

6/24- Update - Mindy McConnell
"On the 8th day . . . he woke up! He was conscious and aware for about 30 minutes at 1:00pm and he’s been sleeping deeply ever since. It’s definitely not like the movies and he wasn’t much more responsive than he was when sedated.
BUT the good news is:
1. He is completely off of sedation.
2. He is conscious.
3. He is able to open both eyes.
4. We know that his alertness will be improving greatly throughout this week.

The “not-yet” news is:
He is not yet able to move his eyes side to side. His gaze is fixed. He is still on a ventilator. He does not have feeling in his left arm. He definitely is not mobile or communicative in any capacity.

We have no idea about his cognitive ability, but it seems like he is understanding our questions. He has no means to communicate other than moving his right hand, which is unfortunately restrained to the bed for his safety. But, he is doing great with it.

GOALS #1 and #3 are met!! One more short term goal to go before Sunday.

VISITORS: Please text me or Dustin before coming to the hospital. As Grayson becomes more alert, he will have to be introduced to what happened and come to terms with his condition. This is such a delicate thing and we don’t want to overwhelm him with people during these times. So, we are going to take it hour by hour this week as he slowly regains consciousness and awareness."

Please everyone continue to donate and support young Grayson. Hollywoods best friend!

Meal Train


Update 6/25- Day 10
Today was a roller coaster. He started the day off rough. His fever continued. He was visibly uncomfortable and in pain. He wasn’t able to handle some of the step-down measures. He is having some difficulty with his digestive and urinary system. They did his first trial off the ventilator and he wasn’t able to sustain his breaths on his own. He slept all day.
At 8:30 he woke up, he stayed awake for at least an hour and a half. (Which is why this update is so late!) He used his right arm to feel all of the tubes and devices on his body. He pulled his blanket to his face and smelled it. He scratched his face using his two fingers. He wiggled his left toes on command.

His motor skills are improving rapidly. Everyday, he is moving new muscles. Left foot powered on today. We are still waiting on the left arm and hand. His internal systems are coming online a little
bit slower.

This week we are focusing on waking Grayson up and re-orienting him to the world. Since being off of sedation, he has had a few instances of waking up for a couple of minutes, but he has mostly been sleeping.

We met with neuropsychology and learned about the wake-up process today. After having his brain off for 9 days and with brain damage, waking up is a slow and overwhelming process. His room will remain a “low-sensory” environment as he re-orients with the world.

Visitors are welcome, but please let us know when you are on your way and when you arrive. The doctor said it’s important to introduce one new face at a time this week, so it will be one visitor in the room during the re-orientation process this week.

Thank you all! #fightlikegrayson

Update 6/26- Day 11
Quote from ICU nurse: “I’ve never seen a patient with this level of trauma have this much progress in a such short amount of time.” MIRACLES are REAL!!
Grayson didn’t have any changes today with his breathing and urinary and digestive systems. But, he is making huge gains in responsiveness. HUGE. The video speaks for itself!

Update 6/27 (Day 12)
Grayson slept much of the day today. He ran a high fever for a while. Just resting and healing!

Update- 6/28 (Day 13)
Grayson had a rough night last night, but a really great day. He has his days and nights backwards, so we are trying to get that back in order. He is getting stronger and stronger with his respiration. He was off the ventilator and on CPAP for 5 hours today!
He had his close friends from school visit and he was super alert! He threw his ball back and forth and even waved bye !

Update- 6/29 Day 14
This is going to be long. Today was a breakthrough day.

Grayson woke up seeming pretty alert. I put a YES/NO app on his iPad, which he was able to use. Suddenly, he navigated himself to youtube and was able to operate it (with some assistance due to shakiness.)
He didn’t watch for long and pushed it away.
A few minutes later, his grandpa was talking to him about playing football. We didn’t expect what happened next, because he hadn’t moved his facial muscles at all yet. His lips started quivering and his entire right face started squishing. He bursted into tears from both eyes. He was making crying noises from his throat. He was sobbing. It was heartbreaking and joyous at the same time.

Later in the day, he signaled for his iPad. His finger hovered over Netflix, but instead, he pushed Facebook messenger. I asked him if he wanted me to read his messages and he gave a thumbs up. I started reading his messages from Jason Yurchak, whose team he was supposed to play with in Atlantic City last weekend. Jason sends Grayson a message of encouragement everyday. After I read the first few messages, he started crying again. We grabbed a paper with feelings symbols and he pointed to worried. We assured him that everything is going to work again and that he is going to be okay.

So, he is now at the point of having to cope and grieve this life change. This going to be hard. I can tell he is worried about his left side not working when prompted. He tried to use the bathroom on his own (without a catheter) and that isn’t working. Of course, I personally believe everything will be rehabilitated. But, the current truth is that he cannot speak, he has a breathing tube in his throat, his left arm and leg aren’t working, and his tongue isn’t moving. His urinary system isn’t working and he has a 20lb metal cage on his head and a big, uncomfortable plastic vest lined with thick wool. These are the hard facts that he is realizing . And that is our new challenge.

I set 3 personal goals two weeks ago that he would wake up, communicate non-verbally, and be off the ventilator. He will not be off the ventilator tomorrow, BUT Monday is the day his team is shooting for!

He is still in ICU, but he only has 2 more medical goals to reach and then he can leave the ICU: 1) get off the ventilator and 2) maintain his proper body temperature.

VISITORS: I think visitors will pick his spirits up. He seems really coherent and aware. If you visit Grayson, please don’t ask him to move his left arm or hard or ask about his left side working. This is scaring him.

Thank you for your prayers, messages, and encouragement. Your love and support is keeping my spirits up and is what has lifted Grayson to extraordinary progress so far.

6/30 Visit!!

Today was great visiting with Grayson Manning! So many positive changes since last Sunday! He's really starting to look like the Grayson we all know. His black eye is almost completely gone, his road rash has healed up nicely. His swelling has gone down almost completely in his face. He perked right up for me and Hollywood. Both eyes open and alert. He even tried to hit Hollywood in the face with his ball. Gave us a little chuckle when I said Connor was scared to get hit by it. He's uses hand signals to communicate with us and is also using his tablet to answer questions. Gave me a pretty funny "No No No No No" response when asking him if he liked watching Harry Potter that was on TV. We laughed together and cried together. He's a tough kid. He turned on his Spotify for a little to play some music for us.. then he finished the afternoon reading messages you guys have sent to his messenger. Even was able to respond to a few typing thank you, or hi. Our boy is doing good. Anything new is a good step in the right direction. Still a very long road of recovery. I know he'll do it! Please everyone continue to pray for Grayson, Mindy, and his family. Please continue to support him anyway you can. I thank you all more then you'll ever know!

Update 6/30- Day 15 - Mindy McConnell

He may not be off the ventilator, but at 10:15pm Grayson’s left leg came BACK ONLINE!! He is picking it up, bending it, and moving it. Let’s gooooo!!

Update 7/1- Day 15
Goal #3- MET!
Grayson is off the ventilator! He still has a trach and will keep that for a while, but he is breathing on his own. If he does well for 72 hrs, he will move out of the ICU and to a regular hospital room. After some time in a regular room for a few weeks, he will move to inpatient rehab here at the hospital for a few months.

If you have sent him messages, please know that he reads about 1-2 messages a day and then is done. His brain gets tired pretty quickly. (I mean who wakes up from a coma reading, anyway!)

He is going through the emotions we knew were coming. He is sad, overwhelmed, and worried. He is really struggling with not being able to speak and not physically being able to do things for himself. His mobility is still extremely limited. This is also pushing him to try and try and try.

For me to see this miracle playing out in front of my eyes is the greatest blessing. Thank you!


Update - 7/3 (Day 17)
Today, Grayson moved out of the ICU! He is in a regular hospital room and eventually will move to the neuro-rehab floor for a few months of inpatient rehab. We are going to move away from daily updates and give updates for his milestones as they come.
The next big medical goal is to remove the trach.
Grayson’s big goals are to talk, walk, and use his left arm and hand. There are many smaller steps to get there, but I believe he will accomplish all of it. Your support and love has set Grayson up to be able to get all of the rehabilitation he needs to be the active, healthy, athletic boy that he has always been.
Thank you all!!! HUGE thank you to the incredible ICU nurses. Leaving was certainly bittersweet.
Now, it’s time for Grayson to do what he does best- be tough and rise to the challenge! #fightlikegrayson

7/7 (Day 21)
Got to visit Grayson Manning today!
It's amazing to see how far he has come! He joked around with the boys ❤️ still not able to really speak well yet but he got out a "hi" for us and "Justin" "Connor" and "Jake"!! So good to see him awake and smiling!! Connor even got to take him for a little ride down the hall!

Update 7/8 (Day 22)
Grayson is talking!! Today, Grayson woke up talking up a storm!

We learned A LOT today about what he remembers and how he feels. He doesn’t remember anything or anyone during the time he was in the ICU. He remembers the accident, but does not want to talk about it. He is mad at himself and at Muffin. As expected, he has really intense emotions about the accident and about his condition.

He got a speaking valve in his trach today and he put it to use right away! His brain needs some time to learn how to engage in conversations. He is perseverating a lot. It has been interesting seeing his brain sorting out all of the information stored in there. He has specific, random, long-term memories that he pulls out of nowhere and gets stuck on. He also said some really amazing things today which shows that my sweet Grayson is there. Like, when Dustin asked him what he wants to do when he gets out the hospital, he said, “Go around the world and help kids like me.” There are also quite a few regressive social behaviors that we need to work out. But, today is Day 1 of him really communicating with words, so he will get there.

He still doesn’t have too much mobility. He isn’t able to sit up and balance. He rarely moves his left arm or leg, although we have seen them both move on occasion. His left hand has gotten a little bit less responsive. So all of that he will work on when he starts rehab THIS WEEK!
Going forward, Grayson won’t be able to have visitors between 9:00-3:00 M-F, because he will be starting inpatient rehab this week. I can’t wait to see the results!!


Update 7/11- Grayson will have another skull surgery in the morning. Visitors can still come as planned, based on how alert and chatty he was after surgery today. He had a really productive and happy day today! He went to rehab, had surgery, went for imaging, and around 7pm I gave him a motivational speech about how he will be able to do whatever he puts effort into. He said he wanted to pick up his left hand and wave it. So guess what? HE DID

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Organizer and beneficiary

Matthew Hodges
Slidell, LA
Mindy McConnell

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