Eagle fundraiser set for car wreck victim | VailDaily.com

Eagle fundraiser set for car wreck victim

NWS pic for Randy KA 2-24-11

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Jasiel Blanco bent down to tie his shoes and didn’t wake up for four months.

Jasiel, 4 years old at the time, was hit and nearly killed by a speeding car driven by an underage driver.

He was in a coma for four months, in the hospital for eight months and in a wheelchair for a year.

After medical sojourns in Mexico and Oakland, Calif., he’s back in Eagle County and working with the folks at Howard Head as he continues to recover from his brain injuries.

As his recovery continues, a mountain of medical bills are piling up. His father, Miguel Blanco, is hosting a dance/fundraiser Saturday night in the Eagle County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall.

“We’re asking people to help us, and have some fun while they’re at it,” Miguel said.

Miguel had a syndicated Spanish language radio show, Radio Piolin. He hasn’t worked since the day his son almost died, September 2005.

The call came at about 8 p.m. while Miguel was working in Bay Point, Calif. His sister was so upset she could barely stammer out the news.

He jumped on a flight that night for El Paso, Texas, then rode a bus for six hours to get to his wife and sons.

They had been visiting family in Chihuahua, Mexico, when, one afternoon Jasiel and his brother decided to run across the street to the store for some chips.

Jasiel noticed his shoes were untied, so he stopped and bent down in the middle of the seldom-used street to tie them. The 14-year old driver was going too fast and never saw the boy.

The collision almost killed Jasiel.

The driver’s father was well connected, Blanco said, and scooped Jasiel out of the middle of the street and rushed to the area’s finest hospital. They kept Jasiel alive and stable while Miguel scrambled for help.

“It’s hard to say we were lucky, but they stopped. Many people would have run away,” Miguel said.

A couple weeks later a car outside a nearby school ran down another child. The driver sped away and the child was left for dead.

Jasiel’s hospital roommate in Mexico was a police officer shot 57 times by drug traffickers. They found him in the hospital and were on their way to finish the job, but discovered Jasiel in the room.

Both Jasiel and the policeman are still alive.

“He said Jasiel was his angel,” Miguel said.

After a few weeks in the Mexican hospital, the privately funded California Children’s Services took up Jasiel’s cause. He was flown by air ambulance to a children’s hospital in Oakland, Calif., where Miguel was working at the time, and it was there that Jasiel finally woke up from his coma.

Recovery has been slow and difficult. The day he straightened his hands was huge. He’s still recovering from his brain injuries, but his eyes sparkle and he smiles as he wonders about everything in store for a 9-year-old boy.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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