With his mom shining in the shadows, his sister softly nearby and his dad Troy at his back, Alex Pearson smiled and acknowledged the crowd of people around him as the Mt. Juliet community presented nearly $17,000 on his behalf.
The 15-year-old Heritage Christian Academy freshman suffered from a rare, slow-leaking aneurysm and subsequent stroke on March 18. Unusual headaches were harbingers of this assault, and since then he's slowly, but surely, fought his way toward recover.
He's learning everything over again, but it was apparent Thursday at the community gathering he's in the moment, happy and aware.
It was a rare outing on that evening for Alex to the heart of Mt. Juliet for the gathering at re: MOVE Training, but his mom Kathy and dad Troy, plus sister Lauren helped Alex be the center of attention as three businesses lauded his courage and bravery, and offered a monetary gift to the family to help pay for extra expenses to help him heal.
He spent five weeks at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a couple of months of inpatient therapy in Georgia. He's been home now just a week, and it's apparent the community cares.
Krystal Hensinger and Israel Horn of re:MOVE Training presented a check of $5,650 to the Pearsons.
"Their story is just so moving," Krystal said.
There was also $7,500 raised from a pancake breakfast at First Baptist Church recently in Mt. Juliet, with Modern Woodman matching $2,500, plus Boulevard Barber & Style in Old Hickory raised $1,050.
"It's just so overwhelming," his mom Kathy said. "So many people are supporting our move back to Mt. Juliet. We moved here six years ago and now we have a family. We got back home with Alex a week ago."
She said recent progress with Alex are his body movements and "his confidence."
They said they would continue therapy and progress each day.
Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at email@example.com