Michael Jerrido is lying in a California hospital as his family desperately tries to get him back home to the Tampa Bay area.
"It’s hard to sit beside my son every day and watch him struggle,” said Sherrie Williams, Michael’s mother. “I know he's fighting, but knowing the child that I know he is, his determination, it hurts even worse."
Jerrido is a student with a 3.7 grade point average and a scholarship to play football at Chabot College in California.
Jerrido could run like the wind and seemed to have it all. But right now, he lies in a hospital bed clinging to life. Investigators said he’s the victim of a vicious and senseless attack.
"My son didn’t know them, they didn’t know my son,” Williams said, “and they told him, ‘You’re a long way from home, don’t you think?’"
It all happened outside a party held at a rented home in Orinda, California.
Michael was with friends when police say he was targeted by another young man for reasons that remain unclear. A blurry picture from a cellphone camera of that suspect is all investigators have to go on. The result of the attack left Michael with broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.
"He had no signs of life when I got to California," Williams said.
Now the mother of the standout football player from Countryside High School in Clearwater needs help to bring him home. In order to get him back to Tampa, he would need to be flown by medical transport.
"He would need medical attention while he's flying back and my insurance refused to do it even though I’m covered," said Williams.
The situation leaves the family desperate to find a way to raise the nearly $29,000 themselves. A Go Fund Me page has been set up in hopes the community will hear their plea.
"Whatever it takes, whatever I have to do, I'll get him back here so I can take care of my child," said Williams.
Michael has since opened his eyes and is breathing on his own but remains in serious condition. Once back in the bay area he’ll need extensive rehab and therapy to get his life back.
You can find the family's Go Fund Me page here.