July 25, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
74°F

For Alyssa

BRUNSWICK — Alyssa Lee, critically injured in a Dec. 11 crash, hangs on to life at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center.

The Brunswick 16-year-old sustained serious brain injuries in a deer-related crash on Substation Road, relatives said.

Her parents, Rob and Tanya Lee, decided to take her off her respirator Monday, family members said. She is breathing on her own, they said, but she isn’t expected to survive.

Ryan Suvak, also 16 and a passenger in Alyssa’s car, suffered a collapsed lung in the crash.

a1mg_clr5colleebenefitam01-copyMore than 200 people came to the Diamond Event Center, 1480 Pearl Road, Brunswick, on Monday to help support the Lee family. Alyssa Lee, 16, a Brunswick High School student, is off her respirator and breathing independently but doctors at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland hold little hope for her survival due to a severe brain injury from a Dec. 11 crash involving a deer, a family member said. (Audrey McCrone / Gazette)

On Monday night, fundraisers were conducted in Brunswick and Medina to help Alyssa’s family with medical bills.

Alyssa’s parents were at her side Monday and could not make it to the spaghetti dinner and raffle fundraiser at the Diamond Event Center, 1480 Pearl Road, relatives said.

Jim Osborne, Alyssa’s uncle who works in maintenance at Brunswick High School, said at the fundraiser he “couldn’t imagine” what her parents are going through.

Family members said there was disbelief and thankfulness for the outpouring of community support. More than 200 attended the Brunswick dinner and area businesses donated baskets of items for the raffle.

PetSmart in Medina Township, for example, offered a basket that included a grooming session and an eight-week dog training class. The Diamond Event Center donated its facility and staff for the event, and several area restaurants donated food for the dinner.

The turnout was “so amazing,” said Alyssa’s aunt, Cassy Osborne, that they ran out of food and had to run out to get more.

“It’s phenomenal how everything was donated” by local businesses that “stepped up big time,” she said.

The two events raised more than $5,800, she said.

Mike Kinder, Alyssa’s great-uncle, said probably “50 to 60” of the people who came to the event were relatives.

Alyssa’s 16-year-old cousin Brandy Lee said the two were close when they were little. Her locker is even next to Alyssa’s at Brunswick High.

She said it’s hard to be without her best friend.

Brunswick sophomore Jessica Kaveolzic, 15, said she received a text message about the benefit dinner and sent an e-mail request to attend.

Gabby Huffnagel, 15, who also attended, said she sat at the same lunch table with Alyssa last year and she was “always fun to be around and made me laugh a lot.”

Ricky Frys, 16, agreed that Alyssa has a great sense of humor and noted her accident makes him remember to wear a seat belt.

The Ohio Highway Patrol reported Alyssa apparently was not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred.

The family has established the Alyssa Lee Memorial Fund through Charter One Bank, and donations will be accepted at any branch of the bank.

Contact Audrey McCrone at (330) 721-4063 or amccrone@ohio.net.