Community rallies behind Three Forks teen injured in ATV crash - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Community rallies behind Three Forks teen injured in ATV crash

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On Sunday, Sept. 10, Matthew Foth and Kortney Combs received phone calls that bring a parent's worst nightmare to life: their 16-year-old son, Gavin, was in a serious ATV accident on private land near Three Forks and was rushed to the hospital.

"He injured his C5 and C6 vertebrae, so he had an 8-hour spine surgery,” Kortney Combs said.

Gavin, a star-athlete who plays three school sports, was left almost completely paralyzed.

“The first week really was the hardest,” Matthew Foth said. “Doctors they kind of brace you for the worst case scenario. But Gavin's a fighter, he's coming back he's kind of proving them wrong so to speak."

Combs says Gavin is improving every day, and has sensation in his limbs. Gavin can also move his face, though at this time he cannot speak because of his breathing apparatus.

Tuesday was Gavin’s last day in the Intensive Care Unit of the Bozeman Health. Tomorrow, Gavin and his parents will fly to Colorado to begin his rehabilitation at the Craig Hospital near Denver, which boasts one of the best spinal injury rehab facilities in the US.

"Initially you pray for his life and then you just pray for progress and I think we're seeing that,” Foth said.

But Foth and Combs say without the huge outpouring of support from the community, the journey forward would be much harder.

"Almost every school in this valley has wrote cards and letters and donated and done 50/50 drawings and people that who don't even know who Gavin is, have just come together,” Combs said.

Out of the support for the injured teen, a movement has grown called ‘#Gstrong’.

"The day after the accident, a family friend started a Facebook page under that name and it's grown and the hashtag GStrong is really his mantra,” Foth said.

Gavin is the second oldest in a large network of brothers and sisters, who have been by his side along with his mother and father.

Wednesday as Gavin and his parents travel to Craig Hospital, they will keep repeating the GStrong mantra that has gotten them this far.

“It’s been the most amazing thing that I have ever witnessed, that I think any of us have ever witnessed, he's changed a lot of lives."

There are a number of ways to help Gavin; his sister, Brooke, started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds and his parents have established a trust in his name or GStrong at First Security Bank.

On October 21, there will be a big fundraiser for Gavin at the Plaza Bar in Three Forks, and Combs says they are accepting donations for raffle items.

And to follow Gavin's progress and journey, check out his #GStrong Facebook page  and stayed tuned to our website, we'll be tracking Gavin's progress and giving updates.

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