Joie Shell has the date etched in her mind – June 3rd, 2012. It's a day she will remember for the rest of her life.
That's the day her teenage son Jacob Meachum was nearly killed while riding in a Kawasaki Mule Utility Terrain Vehicle.
"Jacob has a traumatic brain injury," Shell explained Sunday at a fundraising event for the 15-year-old boy.
Jacob and his friend were passengers in the UTV. His 16-year-old brother Bailey was at the wheel.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say Bailey drove through a stop sign and pulled out in front of an Sports Utility Vehicle on Wiggins Rd. in Plant City.
Jacob was ejected from the UTV on impact. The teen's been in a vegetative state ever since, but family members say he's improving.
"The last week and a half Jacob has made so much progress," Shell said. "By progress I don't mean walking and talking; he's smiling [and] he's following commands."
Despite the recent improvement Jacob's future remains in question. Mounting medical bills have also become a burden on his family. Aquili Salon and Spa in Valrico held a benefit for the family on Sunday.
Former American Idol contestant Jeremy Rosado also stopped by to lend his support. Jacob's mom calls the outpouring from the community overwhelming.
"A blessing has some out of this tragedy," she said. "I don't have words for the appreciation that I have."
So far no charges have been filed in the crash that injured Jacob. The investigation continues.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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