UPDATE: Injured BSU student regains consciousness, parents optimistic about full recovery
UPDATE (March 12, 2018)– The parents of Ball State Student, Drew Akers, say their son has regained consciousness at a Florida hospital and the prognosis for full recovery is looking more likely.
Bill and Diane Akers have been at their son’s side since he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a week ago. The Akers sent the following message today:
“He has regained consciousness. He knows a lot of his family, he follows commands and answers several questions appropriately. He does have some confusion due to the brain injury. He still doesn’t understand that he is in the hospital.
The doctors say that with time and patience he should make a full recovery!
It could take up to one year before He returns to 100 percent, but we are so grateful that he will make a full recovery!
The doctors just informed us that they are removing all IV’a and tubes, he is eating soft foods and he will probably be moved out of ICU tomorrow to a different floor where he will receive some rehab. They are amazed at how well he is doing considering the trauma he sustained! It is almost a miracle!
We are so grateful for all of the prayers and love and support that we have received! It has lifted us up during this difficult time!”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fl. – The parents of a Ball State student critically injured by a hit-and-run driver in Florida say they are hopeful their son will make a full recovery.
Andrew “Drew” Akers, a 21-year-old junior and Fishers High School graduate, suffered a skull fracture early Monday morning when a car struck him as he crossed a street. Fort Lauderdale Police say it happened around 12:30 a.m. in the 100 block of West Broward Boulevard.
Drew was in Fort Lauderdale on a spring break trip, and it is believed that he was walking across the street to catch an Uber back to his hotel.
Drew’s father, Bill Akers, says Drew sustained two skull fractures and two sinus fractures. Drew was being kept in a medically-induced coma because of bleeding on his brain. On Wednesday, doctors were working to gradually take Drew off a ventilator so he can resume breathing on his own.
“The doctors are hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery, however it’s going to take a very long time,” said Drew’s mother, Diane Akers. “There will be a lot of ups and downs throughout it, so it’ll be a roller coaster ride.”
A news release from Fort Lauderdale police said the vehicle that hit Drew is believed to be a silver four-door, with four people inside.
“The driver briefly exited the vehicle at the scene, appearing to assess the damage and then reentered the vehicle before fleeing the area,” Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone said in the statement. “The vehicle continued traveling westbound without stopping to render aid or contact police.”
The driver was described as a black male with a slim build and wearing a white shirt at the time.
Bill Akers says he hopes somebody will turn the driver in, or the driver will turn himself in. But he’s trying to focus his energy on his son’s recovery.
“We have confidence in the police department here in Fort Lauderdale that they’ll keep this investigation going and hopefully find out who did this,” Akers said.
Akers also says he wants to thank witnesses who called 911 and rendered aid to Drew when they found him in the street.
“Basically saved his life,” Akers said. “I can’t speak enough for them and I want to, hopefully someday I can meet them.”
Bill and Diane say they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received since Monday morning. When they received a phone call about Drew’s injuries, they say they put their lives on hold and took off to Fort Lauderdale.
“We can’t speak enough about the generosity of people and the loving support that we’ve received to help make this tragic situation as best that it can be,” Diane Akers said.
The Akers say they have a large network of people coming to their aid. Family members and friends are helping to watch their other two children who are still at home in Fishers. Other friends are making calls to arrange places for the Akers to stay in the Fort Lauderdale area.
“People are opening up their homes to us, people that we don’t even know,” Diane said.
A GoFundMe page started by Drew’s fraternity, Theta Chi, had surpassed $16,000 to help with expenses.
“I can’t say enough about my son’s fraternity, Theta Chi at Ball State, for starting this,” Bill said. “It shows what kind of people they are, and how close knit brotherhood they are.”
The Akers say they plan to stay by Drew’s side until he is able to be transported back home to Indiana. Diane also has a message for parents with college-age kids preparing to go on spring break, especially to Fort Lauderdale.
“Talk with their kids going on spring break, stay in groups, be careful the traffic is huge, this is a very busy time,” Diane said.