EXCLUSIVE: Community rallies around West Hartford teen who suffered a serious traumatic brain injury following sledding accident

WEST HARTFORD – A mother is expressing gratitude to her community after overwhelming support following her son’s accident, earlier this month.

Griffin Reid, of West Hartford, sustained a serious traumatic brain injury after a sledding accident on January 4.

The teen was with his wrestling team at Springfield College when the accident happened. His mother, Julie Reid, said because he hit his head, he doesn’t remember the details of the accident.

“It was stressful, it was very scary at first to see him in that much distress, not knowing how much he’s gonna recover,” she said.

Griffin was admitted to the trauma unit at Bay State Hospital. After about a week, he was transferred to the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.

“He was only there, very briefly, I think less than 36 hours when he developed an infection in his mouth from part of the impact he received when he hit his head,” Reid said. “It got really infected, really swollen and painful, he couldn’t really recover that well with that going on.”

Griffin was taken to Hartford Hospital for an emergency surgery. His mother said he is now back home, going back and forth to rehab for outpatient care.

“I feel like he’s coming back,” she said. “He needs to rest a lot, his memory is coming back a bit, but definitely really pleased with his progress.”

Griffin is a Conard High School Graduate who played both football and wrestling. He is known as an active and hard-working 18-year-old.

“I don’t know what his future holds, none of us do, I don’t know if he’ll go back to school, I don’t know what is ahead for him but I do feel confident it will be something good,” Julie said.

His mother is choosing to focus on his recovery and not on the accident itself.

“Accidents happen and it’s just a part of life, you can’t necessarily plan for these things,” she said.

Julie’s priority is getting her son better which she said means she cannot work at this time, therefore she is not getting paid. She is the sole caretaker for her three sons; their father passed away two years ago, following a stroke a year prior.

“As tragic as both of these things have been, there’s also a lot of positivity in them,” she said. “ I see the gifts in the relationships I’ve developed with my sons and I’m daily grateful for that, I really am.”

Julie said she is extremely grateful for the community for rallying around her family. She said people have brought her family food, shoveled her driveway, and dropped off groceries at her home.

A family friend created a GoFundMe page to help Griffin in his recovery. In just six days the page has raised more than $18-thousand dollars.

“The support of our community has been huge absolutely overwhelming,” she said. “A little bit can make such a huge difference for a family and it has for us.”

The goal of the page is $30-thousand. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.