The family of a sick 12-year-old boy is in need of a new house in order to bring him home from the hospital, a family friend says.

Egan Gaskins, 12, went into cardiac arrest Feb. 9 and developed diabetic ketoacidosis, in which the body produces excess blood acids. Gaskins’ brain swelled, and he went into a coma.

While at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Gaskins developed a blood clot in his right leg, which caused his lung to collapse, according to a press release by family friend Tracy Price. He was put on life support and doctors were not giving a good prognosis, Price said.

But Gaskins has continued to improve and is doing physical therapy.

“He’s been able to write some things. Because he has the trach in, he can’t really talk, but he’s responding to the family. He recognizes people; he’s written his name on a board and then wrote his mom’s (name),” Price said. “He’s improving more and more.”

Gaskins is being fed by a tube, Price said.

He is not walking and may need to use a wheelchair at home. He is able to move his arms and legs, but he is in physical therapy to increase movement after being in bed since February, she said.

“Initially, in those first few weeks they really didn’t even think he had any brain function. It’s basically been a miracle that he’s come back,” Price said.

“They don’t know how far, physically, he‘ll be able to do the things that he used to do,” she said.

In order for Gaskins to return home, the hospital must approve his living space for the accommodations he will need. His current home does not pass the inspection, Price said.

“The most cost-effective approach would be to level the current home and replace it with a double-wide modular home,” Price said.

Price said having a home for him to come home to in the next month is the family’s biggest stress right now.

If the updates cannot be made, Gaskins will have to go to a rehab facility outside of Indiana because the state does not have one to accommodate children with Gaskins’ needs, she said.

The family has not been able to work as they care for Gaskins and his younger brother, and that has placed a huge financial burden on the family, Price said.

“Any amount, however small, would be appreciated and would get the family closer to bringing Egan home,” Price said.

Donations can be made at People’s Bank in Nashville or Morgantown into his mother, Carrie Gaskins’ account, Price said.

Egan Gaskins’ elementary school principal, Abbie Oliver, set up an “EganSTRONG” GoFundMe page in February to help with the family’s expenses while he was hospitalized. It had raised $5,800 of its $6,000 goal as of late last week.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.