Tampa – They crowded the streets of South Tampa, bumper to bumper, waiting for a delicious, home-cooked Italian meal from the well-known restaurant, Tate’s Pizza.
People were there for one reason – to support Jackie Faircloth.
Plant High School senior in coma after hit & run
Jackie is an incredible young woman, a senior from Plant High School, who is currently recovering from a traumatic brain injury. She was hit by a car while visiting her brother in Tallahassee at Florida State University.
The injury was so severe Jackie had to be placed in a medically induced coma to assist in her recovery. Now, she is in a rehab hospital in Atlanta where her mother hasn’t left her side.
Tonight, a special fundraiser, filled with love, strength and hope, was held for Jackie at Tate’s. One hundred percent of the proceeds, which included meals, signs, T-shirts and wristbands, are going to Jackie’s family.
“Everyone says the same thing. ‘We keep praying for her.’ It’s pretty essential. It’s what we hang on to,” said Chip Darnell, Jackie’s uncle. His beaming smile greeted customers and supporters Thursday evening as they bustled in the makeshift drive-thru line at Tate’s, where Styrofoam containers of steaming hot pasta filled car after car.
Jeanne Tate began to tear up as she talked about Jackie.
“As a mother, I can’t imagine what her parents are going through. We want to help in any way we can. We expect to raise $10,000 tonight. We’re very touched about that,” Tate said.
What is truly remarkable is the number of people who showed up who don’t even know Jackie – total strangers who have followed her story and have seen the bright pink signs that bear her name and ask for prayers.
“It was something I’d like to help out the family and her,” Bill May said. “I hope she really makes it. We’re all praying for her, believe me.”
Through good cooking and lots of love, people sent their support and loyalty all the way to Atlanta, all the way to Jackie’s bedside.
“If the community prays, her parents pray, her family prays, it’s all we have to get her on the road to recovery,” Jackie’s uncle said.
Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.