WILLET, N.Y. (WBNG) — On Tuesday, loved ones of 19-year-old Tyler Bard, an Otselic teen who was seriously injured in a crash last month, came together to host a spaghetti dinner benefit for Bard’s medical bills.
“Our goal is that he wakes up and comes back to us,” said Bard’s girlfriend Vanda Sherrod. The two have known each other since they were babies, and have only become closer of the years.
“I like to be by his side,” explained Sherrod. She said Bard was on her way back from her house when he crashed.
On March 6, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office said Bard lost control of his car and crashed into a utility pole at the intersection of Lower Cincinnatus Road and Baldwin Corners Road in Cincinnatus.
“I could’t believe it,” explained Bard’s sister Emily Miller.
Sherrod said Bard suffered a brain injury and has been in a coma for the past eight weeks.
“I couldn’t handle it and didn’t want to be in the room to make him upset because he could here us,” explained Paige Will, a first cousin of Bard’s. “I just had to step out because I was crying and I didn’t want to upset [Tyler].”
In the first week of April he was moved to a rehabilitation center where Sherrod said he has been making progress.
“They really do believe he is emerging from the coma,” explained Sherrod. “He’s made a lot of progress with his trach [tube] being removed and his right side is as efficient as his left, but that has shown more progress and the nurses have said he’s done a lot of things they didn’t expect him to do this soon.”
First cousins Aiden Thompson and Cassidy Will said they enjoy when Bard would play with them and take them out for ice cream.
Sherrod and other family members of Bard served hundreds of plates from the dozens of pounds of spaghetti & meatballs that were cooked. Salad and dessert was also served, and raffles were donated. Sherrod said all proceeds will cover medical bills to help Bard’s recovery.
Sherrod said her and Bard planned to go to prom this year, but isn’t going anymore, because it “Wouldn’t be right without him.”