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Newborn delivered after fatal wreck not improving, family says

Posted September 10, 2012
Updated September 12, 2012

— Family members of a baby boy on life support said Monday that he's not improving and that they will have to make tough decisions soon about whether to keep him alive.

Doctors say 8-day-old Will Riggans' brain function is minimal after he was deprived in-utero of oxygen last Sunday night in a wreck that killed his mother and severely injured his father. The infant also suffered blunt force head trauma.

Casey Riggans and his wife, Megan, both 22, were on their way to UNC Hospitals from their Burlington home to give birth when their car hydroplaned on a wet road and hit a tree.

Megan Riggans died, and doctors delivered Will. His family says he has not opened his eyes, cried or been able to move his arms and legs.

Doctors have tried a variety of different therapies, but Will's condition has not changed, said Megan Riggans' uncle, Randy Lewis.

"If it does turn out that he does not survive, I mean, the way we look at it is that it's a win-win situation," Lewis said. "If he stays here, we get him. If he can't, his momma and his granddaddy get him. So, that's the way we're looking at it here."

To complicate matters, the infant was born with a condition called gastroschisis, in which the intestines stick out of the abdomen because of an umbilical cord defect.

Newborn delivered after fatal wreck not improving, family says Newborn delivered after fatal wreck not improving, family says

Lewis said that Casey Riggans, who had surgery for a fractured skull and broken jaw, was able to hold his son for the first time Sunday.

"I can say it was a miracle just to have him this long. We were able to touch him and feel him. Some people have been able to hold him," Lewis said. "For us, that's a miracle in itself.

He added that the family is appreciative of an overwhelming outpouring of community support and the efforts of doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders to save Megan Riggans and the baby.

"There's been a tremendous outpouring of sympathy, compassion, concern, prayer and donations to try and help us through this god awful mess," Lewis said.

The family has set up a fund to help with medical expenses and care. Donations can be made by at any BB&T bank branch to the Brian Casey Riggans Trust. Donations also may be mailed to the Brian Casey Riggans Trust, BB&T, P.O. Box 749, Siler City, N.C. 27344.

They also hope to set up a scholarship fund in Megan Riggans' name. Funeral arrangements for her have not been finalized.


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  • awood2 Sep 12, 2012

    reading this makes me cry. I will be praying for all you to make the decision you will be having to make. I agree saying that it is a win win situation but it is still a hard one!

  • peppercorns Sep 11, 2012

    He has too many issues....let him go be with his mother. I hope the family can find comfort, someday. Very sad.

  • computer trainer Sep 11, 2012

    Kim, that was really sweet. This little baby has stolen a part of my heart. I really hope that things are not as dire as they seem. The Lord can change things.

  • kimsstressed Sep 11, 2012

    Killian,I rarely ever pray in public... I am not what I consider a "Bible toting Christian", one that can quote the Bible by verse, but forget to live the Word out in the world.. but as a mother of 3 I can only imagine what this family is going through.. and it's one thing to hear that prayers are being sent up, but to actually hear them is another thing. I watched my mother bury my sister before my sister's 40th birthday... and while some sent consoling words to our family, the people that actually would come in and pray with us are the ones I remember the most.. That is all I was trying to share with the family...

  • freeadvice Sep 11, 2012

    Praying for peace for this family

  • anderson Sep 11, 2012

    Praying that God is with this family and that He holds them close

  • gopack10 Sep 11, 2012

    This story breaks my heart. That sweet baby looks so peaceful and just perfect, I wish God would help him to turn around. But if that is not the plan for little Will, I pray he and his mother enjoy Heaven together and look over Casey down below. A tragedy like this makes you realize that those little things going wrong in our lives could be so much worse. Praying for all!!

  • bresilver Sep 11, 2012

    I just can't even imagine being in their shoes. It just breaks my heart.

    Psalm 34:18
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  • Weetie Sep 11, 2012

    beautifully said kim!

  • Weetie Sep 11, 2012

    What a beautiful family. All are in my prayers. May God Bless each of you.