CORPUS CHRISTI — The community of Agua Dulce is coming together to raise money for a hospitalized boy while also taking care of his family.
Ninoy Hite, 12, was in his classroom on December first when he had an aneurysm.
Anna Hite, Ninoy’s mom said the school secretary called her when the ambulance was on its way.
“Mrs. Hite your son had a seizure…” Anna said she heard on the other line. “…and I got there, he sat in a chair and he’s like ‘mom, mom’ and he tapped his head.”
He was rushed to Driscoll Children’s Hospital as the blood was spreading in his brain. Anna said the neurologist there was on maternity leave so he would have to be HALO Flighted to another hospital.
“In the length of three hours he was able to get airlifted to San Antonio, University Hospital,” Anna said.
Ninoy is part of the less-than-one percent of the population that is affected by brain arteriovenous malformation or AVM.
According to stroke.org, a person is usually born with AVM and it occurs when “a tangle of blood vessels in the brain bypasses normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins.”
“When the arteries are weak and there’s pressure that triggers it, it just exploded it,” Anna said.
Undergoing emergency surgery to stop the bleeding, Ninoy was put on a breathing tube and a feeding tube.
He will have to have another surgery where doctors will go back into his skull to remove the AVM and then eventually he will go through rehabilitation.
“The cost going and coming from San Antonio, and the hospital costs and the HALO flight are just astronomical,” Nora Lopez, the principal at Agua Dulce Elementary said.
Lopez said the community there is very close and since Ninoy’s been in the hospital they have hosted a prayer vigil, a barbecue fundraiser, and established a donation page to help the Hites.
"Yes our city is the backbone behind it but it’s amazing how people from other cities are also donating," Lopez said.
Anna said she, her husband, Ninoy, and his brother and sister had only moved to Agua Dulce two years before.
“It’s hard to be sad because you have a community that says ‘Hey you need anything? You need this? Let us know. We will be here anytime,” Anna said.
She and her husband take turns driving to San Antonio three days a week to visit Ninoy, one parent always staying behind to take care of his siblings.
“Everybody pitch in our neighbor mow the yard,” Anna said. “One brings me groceries. The school teachers are taking my kids to shopping.”
Unable to recognize his family yet, Anna said she’s just thankful her son is still alive.
“He likes history, a lot,” Anna said. “He likes to read about World War Two. He wants to be a pilot.”
“He’s smart, well mannered, very well behaved,” Lopez agreed.
Anna said Ninoy’s grandparents still live in the Philippians but the people of their small community have become their family.
“It’s like a parent that’s not our parents, that extended their arm and just put it together to wrap us and say it’s okay,” Anna said.
“The community changes our world,” Anna said. “Forever the kids will remember them. And Ninoy himself when he gets older, I want him to honor the place in a way we can pay them back later. Because there’s no word to pay them.”
A raffle will be held on Facebook Live for the Family on Thursday, December 23.
Here is the list of items donated by the community that will be raffled off:
Tickets can be bought through cash app user $jamiebarron12. Those buying raffle tickets are asked to include their phone number and Ninoy’s name in the description.
A time on the raffle has not been announced but you can visit this Facebook page for an update.
Here is a link to the donation page for the family.