Newport Beach and Costa Mesa residents are raising money to help a Newport Harbor High School sophomore who is slowly recovering after being hit by a vehicle while riding his skateboard home from a Costa Mesa convenience store.
Cole Domino, 16, was struck Saturday on 19th Street at Monrovia Avenue in Costa Mesa, just minutes from his Newport Beach home, his mother, Shannon, said Thursday.
Cole was taken to Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange, where he underwent two-hour emergency brain surgery because of a major hematoma, brain swelling and a fractured skull.
Shannon said surgeons removed part of his skull, which they kept in a freezer and will replace later.
"He suffered no broken bones, which is an absolute miracle and reflection [that] God was completely watching over him," Shannon said.
Costa Mesa police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said Thursday that the driver of the vehicle that hit Cole remained at the scene and cooperated with police. The case is under investigation and no arrests have been made, Fyad said.
Doctors removed Cole's breathing tube Thursday, Shannon said, and he has been able to open his eyes and move his arms and legs. It will be a slow road to recovery, and the family doesn't know the extent that his brain injuries may affect his speech, memory or motor skills, she said.
Hydee Beth, PTSA president of Estancia High School in Costa Mesa, created a GoFundMe page to help the family with medical costs. As of Thursday afternoon, the effort had raised more than $37,000 in four days.
Beth befriended Shannon when they were 17, and they later reconnected when their children attended preschool at Christ Lutheran School in Costa Mesa.
A group of parents proposed starting the GoFundMe page to help alleviate the Dominos' financial burden and allow the family to focus on Cole, Beth said.
"It's what we do as humans. You love one another, and it's just in our nature to want to help," Beth said.
Shannon said it's been "incredibly moving" for her and Cole's father, Ken, to receive such support from the community.
Newport Rib Co. at 2196 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa will donate 25% of its sales on Saturday to help the family. On March 13, Sgt. Pepperoni's Pizza Store at 2300 S.E. Bristol St. in Newport Beach will donate 25% of its proceeds between 5 p.m. and closing.
6:40 p.m.: This article was updated with Roxi Fyad's comments.