02/29/12 Austin Schoof, the 18 year old Plymouth High School student who was struck by a vehicle on Michigan Road February 17, has been removed from ICU at Memorial Hospital, South Bend.

Austin’s mom, Kathy Jo Schoof said, “Austin is making huge strides considering the damage that has been done.”

She said that on day five, the intracranial pressure valve was removed from his brain and the sedative was turned off.

“Day six, the ventilator was removed and he began breathing successfully on his own,” she said.

One week after the accident, Austin was moved from ICU.

An ICU nurse came in Austin’s room “and pinched and prodded him while asking him to open his eyes and he did!” she said. “He blinked for the first time since the accident 10 days ago.”

Kathy said it gives her and husband Billy great joy to see the progress. “It was wonderful to look into his eyes if only for a brief moment,” she said. “God has truly carried us through this terrible journey with him. We are praying and believing for a full recovery.”

Surgery on Austin’s clavicle break is scheduled for Wednesday.

Good friend of the Schoof’s, Shanda Stevens is organizing a fundraiser for T-shirt sales, which are available for a minimum donation of $15. Checks may be made out to “T-Shirt Shack” for reorders only. Stevens said, “The T-Shirt shack is graciously donating their time and giving us a huge discount all to benefit the Schoff family!” Email her at shandarestevens@yahoo.com for orders.

Also helping the Schoff cause was the PHS band and choir. A student-oriented fundraiser — headed up by Tyler Switzer — took up a collection after last Sunday’s concert to help the family with their medical expenses.

“Switzer spoke to the audience about the accident and the Schoff family and asked the audience for donations,” said band director Bryan Ames. “The total collected was slightly more than $1,100. Kudos to all of the students and parents of the music department for such a generous gift!”

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