Hampton Roads rallies to help Va. Beach family with child in coma



Posted on March 17, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 3:09 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH --People are rallying around the family of a young boy who was happy and active one day but is now in a coma.

Earlier this year, seven-year-old Jonas Paras was sick at school and went home. His parents took him to the hospital. He developed bacterial pneumonia.

"This wasn't supposed to happen. We were told he was just going to be on antibiotics for two weeks then we can go home. We didn't expect any of this. We didn't," says mom Jennifer Paras.

Jonas was transferred to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters and put on a respirator. He then went into cardiac arrest.

Video: Community reaches out to family of child in coma

There were complications and he suffered a brain injury.

"It's hard because he was so athletic and he was so full of life," says Mrs Paras.

The family worries for him as the medical bills pile up.

"We have to buy diapers for a seven-year-old now and all of the supplies that insurance won't cover. A lot of the physical therapy we want to get him into the insurance won't cover," says dad Dodge Paras. "We haven't even reached the tip of the iceberg."

The family hopes to bring Jonas home for care, and that will cost money, too.

Friends, even strangers, have raised $10,000 so far doing fundraisers.

The Paras family says they're overwhelmed and grateful to the community for its support.

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"It's just been a blessing for everybody to come together and for them to help us out," Mr. Paras says.

His brothers hope for the day Jonas is once again playing with them.

"Thank you for raising money for my brother," adds DJ.

There's a walk-a-thon this Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Mt. Trashmore in Va. Beach.