Caleb is coming out of coma

PHOTO PROVIDED Jake Leone is shown with his son, Caleb, on Sunday in a brain trauma rehabilitation center in Hershey where Caleb is recovering after a serious brain injury suffered Aug. 14 at Jersey Shore High School football practice. Over the past weekend, Caleb began coming out of the coma, and in this picture, Jake makes a circle with his fingers, and Caleb does it, too.

HERSHEY –There’s good news from Hershey.

Caleb is starting to come out of the coma and his condition is showing improvement.

The 17-year-old son of Danielle and Jake Leone of Jersey Shore suffered serious brain trauma five weeks ago today during football practice.

And the news hasn’t been so good since then.

But that all changed over the weekend.

His mother reported Monday morning that Caleb is improving.

“He’s starting to have more periods of alertness. He is not yet considered out of a coma because as his brain continues to repair itself he goes in and out… but we think soon.

“Also this weekend he began capping trials on his trach and he is rocking it, so hopefully they can remove it tomorrow.

“He does sometimes respond to some commands… it’s not consistent but it’s progress. The swelling is finally starting to come down. Awake or not he goes through about four hours of therapy a day and he is showing some positive signs.

“We still have a long road, but the prayers are working and he is showing some amazing strength from all of your support. We can not thank our community and surrounding communities and states enough,” she said in a post on Facebook.

The post included the photo of Caleb and his father, Jake, lying beside him. The picture was taken on Sunday. Look closely and you will see that Jake made a circle with his fingers and his son responded by doing the same thing with his fingers. And it looks like Caleb’s right eye is open, while the left is still swollen.

This is just the best news for this family, who has captured the hearts of literally thousands of people since the August 14 accident on the football field at Jersey Shore High School.

There have been dozens of fundraisers as young and old have gathered to pray for Caleb and make donations to help Jake and Danielle financially.

Danielle hasn’t left Caleb’s side. Jake has gone back to work, but travels to Hershey on weekends and sometimes inbetween.

Caleb was lifeflighted to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville from Jersey Shore Hospital immediately after the accident. Three weeks later, after he was breathing on his own, he was transported to a brain trauma rehabilitation center in Hershey. It’s a facility that specializes in brain trauma, Jake said.

And that’s where his family is now seeing what they have been praying for.

Since his admission there, the updates had been few and far between. Answers from family members about Caleb’s condition have been short, most of the time,“no change.”

But Monday, Danielle said she had to let everyone whose been supporting them know the good news.

“I know everyone has been asking and giving us so much support so we wanted to give a little update. I appreciate your patience… updates are not easy for me as this is an up and down roller coaster,” she said, prefacing her Facebook message that Caleb is improving.

And that’s a wonderful thing.