Local News

Community rallies to bring Clayton man home

Posted July 25, 2011 6:24 p.m. EDT

— The Clayton community has rallied to bring home a 21-year-old man severely injured during a fall in Spain two months ago. 

Gary Harrison said his son Cory Harrison, 21, was trying to climb up the second-floor balcony of the youth hostel he was staying at after getting locked out. He fell and suffered massive head trauma. 

"When I was there, they didn't think he was going to make it through the (next) 48 hours," Gary Harrison said. "He was in bad shape." 

Since the accident, Cory Harrison has been moved to another hospital and remains in a vegetative state. His mother is currently by his side. 

The Harrisons have been struggling to find the money to bring their son home. Gary Harrison said the expenses to transport him could run up to $80,000. 

"My insurance company has fought that the entire way, not fought it, but no one has been willing to make a decision to say this is an exception," Gary Harrison said. 

After hearing about the situation, members of the community came together, holding pot-luck dinners and rallying support through Facebook. On Friday, a couple, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote the Harrison family a personal check for more than the amount needed to bring Cory Harrison home. 

The Harrisons adopted Cory Harrison when he was an infant in Philadelphia. He has 10 siblings, eight of whom are adopted. 

The Harrison's oldest daughter, Casey, an Air Force pilot on her second tour in Afghanistan, is working to get an air ambulance to transport her brother back to the United States. 

Gary Harrison said friends have helped secure a spot for his son at WakeMed's rehab facilities. He hopes his son will be home by next week.