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Road to Recovery: Former senior making progress

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Photo courtesy of Kyla Cools ’11. Trei ’12 and his sister Kyla Cools ’11 pose for a picture prior to the accident.

KATIE MURPHY ’14 | Staff Writer

Involved in a head-on collision with a bus, Trei Cools has been hospitalized for the past two months suffering from very serious injuries, but has been improving since the accident, he said. He was just moved to a rehabilitation center and is beginning to regain use of his hands.

A fundraiser, which raised about $1,500, was held by Staples, on Sunday, April 29 and donations were accepted until Friday, April 4. Over fifty people attended the event, including Cools’ close friend Zach Dettlinger ’12.

“It was great. It was really cool to see all the people there supporting Trei,” said Dettlinger.

Although these have been some tough times for Trei Cools, his friends and family have helped him the most, he said. Having them there for him has made the time of his recovery in the hospital much easier to deal with.

“I’ve visited him four times and I’m going to see him Saturday for his birthday with a bunch of people,” said Dettlinger. “We’re buying a couple of his favorite pizza — Hawiian — a cake, and the movie ‘Chronicle’. We’re just gonna hang out with him.” 

As a result of his condition, he will not be attending school for the rest of the year. He had finished the first semester of his senior year at South, but had transferred at the start of second semester. He will be home-schooled in order to graduate.

Kyla Cools, Cools’ sister, said that he has been continuing to get better since the accident. There is still a long way to go in regards to having the ability to obtain full mobility in his hands and legs again, and there is a question if it is even possible. Cools’ family hopes that with physical therapy, mobility in his hands will be possible.

“Hopefully, later down the road with progress in spinal cord regeneration research and physical therapy, he’ll regain the use of his legs,” said Kyla Cools.

As a family, they have been supporting each other through all of the struggles being faced daily, said Kyla Cools. With their friends helping in any way possible, it has made the suffering that the family is going through easier to overcome.

“Our primary focus is helping Trei get as much function with his hands and legs as possible,” said Kyla Cools. “School will come when he’s healthy again if he still wants to go back.”

Close friends, such as Emily Satterfield’13, have been there for him through his whole recovery, Trei Cools said. Satterfield has been visiting Trei in the hospital at least a few times a week to keep him company.

“The hardest part for me is seeing someone I love in pain and not being able to do anything about it,” said Satterfield. “Him being in the hospital makes it harder for me to be there for him.”

Although the devastating accident has changed Trei’s entire life, Satterfield is very thankful that he came out alive and that he is able to get better, Satterfield said. Not only has Satterfield been helping Trei get through this, he has been supporting her as well.

“When I found out about the accident I was scared,” said Satterfield, “I didn’t know what was going on and neither did Trei or his family. At the end of the day I’m just glad he came out of the accident alive.”

Tori Taylor ’13 contributed to this story.

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Road to Recovery: Former senior making progress