COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A 2016 Ridge View High School graduate had hoped to have a fall semester filled with new classes, new friends, and new experiences as a freshman at the University of South Carolina. However, a sudden and life-changing moment changed his course.
Raoul Jenkins II was in a car accident a couple of days after graduating. When his sister, Patrice, showed up on the scene, she noticed something wasn't right with her brother.
Raoul suffered several seizures. His family would later find out it was because of an aneurysm.
"It was very rough hearing that your 17-year-old brother who just graduated the previous Wednesday has a 10 percent chance to live," Patrice said. "And that if he did live he would have very minimal use of his left side of his body. Taking that in, in one sitting in a room with people you don't know on an afternoon that you were just at home watching movies, he just got off work and was going swimming to -- he has a 10 percent chance to live. It was very heartbreaking. That's my best friend. I love him to death."
Raoul did survive and he continues to make progress as he receives treatment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
"I've learned I've touched so many lives and I have a lot of people that care about me," Raoul said.
After multiple brain surgeries, Raoul wears a protective helmet. As a show of support, his father, Raoul, Sr., sometimes does as well.
The Jenkins family has a long journey ahead and so many people are already standing by their side.
"I want to say thank you to everybody who has supported me because they really didn't have to do that. And I'm so thankful for everybody who's helped and stood by me. I just get a warm feeling in my heart when I think about the people who have been there for me and helped me."
On Tuesday, there is a fundraising spaghetti dinner at Ridge View High School from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
You can also donate online through a GoFundMe page set up for Raoul.
The money that is raised will be put toward his medical expenses.