‘Team Nick Benefit’ raises money for teen’s wheelchair accessible van

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After surviving a serious car crash that left him with brain injuries and a broken neck, Nick Van Doeselaar is seeking to regain mobility, and an effort is underway to get him a wheelchair accessible van.

The "Team Nick Benefit” was held Sunday at the Twisted Bull Saloon in Grand Rapids to raise money for a wheelchair-accessible van forVan Doeselaar, 19. Bar manager JamieLynn Imhoff said she wanted to help Nick and his family.

Nick was severely injured in a crash last September on I-96 near Alpine. Family said the teen lost control of his vehicle, crossed four lanes of traffic, hit a car that was stalled on the side of the road and rolled four times. It was later determined Nick wasn't drunk nor speeding at the time of the crash.

Despite his injuries, which included a punctured lung, fractured skull, broken neck, and traumatic brain injury, Nick has made incredible progress, according to his mother Shannon Meyer.

"In the beginning they told me he wouldn't make it, and then it was 'he's going to be a vegetable,'" Meyer said. "He's doing things I was told he would never do."

The accident left Nick with severe brain injuries and a broken neck. (courtesy photo)

The accident left Nick with severe brain injuries and a broken neck. (courtesy photo)

"When you're a mother and you're watching your child at a hospital and there's nothing you can do, to have love and support is the one and only thing that can get you through that," Imhoff told FOX 17. "So, as a mother, I can't say No to something like this."

Nick's family said he continues to recover at a rehab center in Kentwood. His family said they look forward to the day he can come home, but they need a wheelchair accessible van.

To help raise that money the fundraising event included a raffle, sales of bracelets, and outright donations. People even had the chance to ride a mechanical bull to raise funds.

Team Nick hopes to raise $25,000 to purchase the van.

If you'd like to help the family, you can send an email.

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