WELDON, Ill. (WCIA) — An 8-year-old boy with autism is recovering in the hospital after being hit by a car last week.
The accident happened Thursday around 8:00 pm. Terry Mank was running on Route 48 in Weldon when he was hit. He has autism and has been known to run off whenever he gets the chance, even if his parents look away for a split second. That night, while his father was in another room, he left the house and took off running.
Gerald Mank says, “The doors were all open and he was gone. So I ran out the door.” Panic set it as he searched in the dark. He says, “I looked down Route 48 and saw a car stopped and a man standing over something. I ran down there and it was Terry.”
The man who hit him called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. Four days later he’s still there recovering. His skull cracked and his brain is bleeding, but he’s expected to recover. As his parents look back on this terrifying accident, they’re also thinking about other ways to help him.
Heather Mank says, “We are looking for a service dog for my son to help with his autism. A service dog for autism can help track children who have run. They can help prevent them from running by being tethered to them or blocking them.”
But the family is facing an unfortunate obstacle. Heather Mank says, “Those are really long waiting lists or very expensive. A lot of places I’ve looked are anywhere from $10,000-17,000.”
There’s a high demand for these service dogs, and it takes a lot of work to train them. The Mank family believes this would be just what terry needs.
Heather Mank says, “Parents and families of children with autism need help and they rarely get it.”
If you would like to help the family click this link to their GoFundMe page.
Terry is scheduled to go home Tuesday if the bleeding doesn’t get worse.