RICHMOND, Va. -- Born with autism and cerebral palsy, Trey Hope has led a challenging life. But, thanks to the unconditional love he received from his mother, Doris Howell, he had overcome a number of hurdles.
Trey could dress and feed himself, walk and run and take a shower on his own. Trey loved the Special Olympics and often competed in bowling and swimming events.
Yet when Howell died in January 2020, Trey's life was thrown upside down when he was placed in the care of a trusted aunt and uncle.
In July, Trey ended up in Chippenham Hospital's Emergency Room in critical condition. Trey's aunt, Tori Nichole Jackson Hope is now charged with abuse and neglect and more criminal charges could be pending.
Trey is recovering from a broken skull, pelvis, ribs, shoulder, and jawbone.
Severe damage to his spinal cord will prevent Trey from walking again, according to doctors.
The emotional trauma has also impacted every element of Trey's life as he's learning to trust again.
When Tracy Sears watched colleague Melissa Hipolit's story on Trey, she wanted to reach out and help in some way.
Melissa put Tracy in contact with Trey's cousin, JaWanda Hope, who gave some suggestions to help lift Trey's spirits.
On Thursday, Tracy was joined by Trey's family, Special Olympics Virginia President, Nick Jeffrey, The Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office, and fellow Special Olympian Emily Morrissey and her family. They surprised Trey at a park with several gifts, including Spider-Man figures, a tablet, and a Special Olympic gold medal. Trey's smile and bright eyes said it all.
If you'd like to help Trey along his long road to recovery, his family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical bills and legal fees.
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