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March 09. 2014 9:54PM

Donations pour in for Cornish couple injured in Florida

CORNISH — People from the Upper Valley region to across the world are reaching out to a well-known Cornish couple injured in Florida last month.

Ray and Teri Grace were badly injured on Feb. 24 while crossing the street during their Florida vacation.

The couple’s three grown daughters immediately flew to Florida to help their parents recover at the Blake Medical Center in Tampa. Angela and Jennifer Grace live in the Upper Valley region while the youngest daughter, Kelley Grace, lives in Burlington, Vt.

Ray, 51, was released from the hospital about a week and half after the accident and has made tremendous strides walking again with the use of a walker, Angela Grace said.

Teri, 53, however, is still in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit.

Though she came out of her coma this weekend she has been asleep. According to the doctors she has a level one brain injury, Angela Grace said.

“What we do know is there was a severe lack of oxygen to her brain,” she said.

Her vitals are good and the seizures she was experiencing have stopped. The doctors said she could just need rest to recover from her injuries, Angela Grace said.

“We really don’t know what’s going to be the outcome of this.”

Donations for the family are currently being taken online at YouCaring.com under Help Support the Grace Family.

Rebecca Baril Ritter of Montana who grew up in Cornish, attending Cornish Elementary School with the Grace sisters, started the online fundraiser, which ends March 15.

Ritter is working to establish a bank account people can send money to directly once the fundraiser is over, she said in an email Friday.

“I spent a lot of time at the Grace’s home growing up and Ray and Teri are such sweet, wonderful people,” she wrote, “when I heard of the accident and saw Angie’s Facebook postings I wanted to do something to help — the Grace family was such a big part of my life growing up.”

As of Sunday the online fundraiser had raised more than $15,000 for the sisters.

From Florida on Sunday, Angela Grace said the money is helping them to pay for the expense of flying back and forth, lodging and food.

Both Ray and Teri are well-known in the Upper Valley region — Ray as a local UPS driver and Teri as a nurse at Brookside Nursing Home in Wilder, Vt.

Patients of Teri’s have been sending their best wishes and prayers, Grace said.

“They absolutely love my mom,” she said. “They call her Florence Nightingale.”

“Everybody knows him,” Pooh Sprague, of Edgewater Farm in Plainfield, said of Ray. “He’s liked because he did his job with a smile. He’s that kind of guy and that’s no small feat in this world. … He’s just a great a guy. It’s a real tragedy.”

The donations, prayers and well wishes from the community have meant a lot, Angela Grace said.

“The support is just incredibly humbling,” she said, especially from people around the world the family doesn’t even know. “We have pray chains all the way from China and Korea.”

Just this weekend the Plainfield Community Baptist Church members gave an $800 donation, she said.

“We are just completely amazed at how many people have been donating,” she said. “It’s just been really appreciated.”


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