Brady the fighter
Brady Yurista is shown before his accident. His grandparents, Rich and Lisa Smith, are from Summit Hill.
There were at least 180 deaths related to tip-overs of furniture, televisions or appliances between 2000-06, and 80-percent of those involved children younger than age 10.
Heather Yurista of Hazleton never imagined she would ever face such a dilemma until two months ago, when her 3-year old son Brady decided to climb on top of a drawer to change the channel on the family's 42-inch older model television sitting on top of a low three-drawer dresser.
After the set toppled onto Brady, Yurista's first reaction was to place him onto his side. The speed of her actions may have saved his life, since Brady was bleeding profusely, especially internally.
She called the ambulance which took him to Hazleton General Hospital. Brady's internal injuries were so severe that he was quickly transferred by helicopter to Hershey Children's Hospital.
At Hershey, he was monitored and hooked up to a breathing machine. Later that day, he was able to breathe on his own and was taken off the machine. Brady was in surgery for four hours with an emergency craniotomy (the surgical removal of a flap of the bone covering the brain, according to the National Institutes of Health).
His parents, Heather and Michael, their 1-year old son Liam, along with his grandparents Rich and Lisa Smith and son Rich of Summit Hill, kept a constant vigil. They stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, a free service they will always be thankful for.
"This was my darkest hour as a grandmother, but Brady fought from the beginning," Lisa said. "His nose was broken on the top and they had to put a drain in for spinal fluid."
Brady spent the next two weeks at Hershey recovering from the internal injuries as well as multiple facial and skull fractures and a ruptured ear drum. The fact that mom and dad were always there helped in his recuperation. Brady was then sent to Good Shepherd Pediatric Rehabilitation Center where he spent three more weeks.
After his discharge from Good Shepherd, Brady is home but still returns to the center for weekly therapy and doctor's visits. Doctors believe recovery will take one year. There was no brain damage, only brain injuries, which will heal. He is also learning to walk again.
Brady's family, members of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Nesquehoning, are thankful for the prayers of people in the area and credit that strong faith for Brady's survival. He also received many cards and money from the community and now has a Facebook site called "Benefit for Brady."
Numerous fundraisers are scheduled in the Hazleton area, and at St. Francis Parish, there will be a benefit to cover Brady's expenses from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 24. Included will be a bake sale, Chinese Auction, 50/50 and refreshments. Donations will be accepted.
All donations can be sent to M&T Bank in the name of "Benefit for Brady-Medical Fund" or either "Brady Yurista Family Fund." The church is located behind Turkey Hill in Nesquehoning on Mill Street.
Parents of young children are reminded to keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers, keep remote controls, candy, or other tempting items away from unstable stands or tables and tell children not to climb or jump on furniture.