WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg community is showing support for a 16-year-old Jamestown High School student who suffered a serious injury in a car wreck earlier this month.
In early October, 16-year-old Grace Pitts was in a car crash that shattered her L3 vertebrae.
Grace underwent emergency surgery at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, where she stayed for over a week before being transferred in a private medical flight with her mother, Tina, to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga., which specializes in treatments for spinal injuries.
While Grace is currently undergoing this extensive rehabilitation program that could last at least four to six weeks and will receive even more upon her return to Virginia, the community is rallying behind Grace and her family to help cover medical expenses.
Melissa White, principal at Stonehouse Elementary School where Tina works as a teacher, created a GoFundMe campaign for the Pitts family. The goal was to raise $5,000, which White said was reached within the first four hours it was posted.
“I had to up the goal, like, six times over the course of two days because it just spread so quickly,” White said. “It was amazing.”
White described Grace, who was also a student at Stonehouse Elementary from kindergarten through fifth grade, as an “all-around kid.”
A junior attending Jamestown High School, Grace is an honor student who participates in multiple school organizations such as Key Club, Spanish Club and the English Honor Society. Outside of school, she is also an avid piano player, a Girl Scout ambassador and Fife and Drum Junior Corp Alumni.
“Tina is just a really great person who gives to the community a lot, and her daughter is a phenomenal example of a high school student,” White said.
As of Friday, Oct. 29, Grace’s GoFundMe has already surpassed its new goal of $25,000.
“It just goes to show how willing people are to lend a helping hand in Williamsburg,” White said. “It’s still got that great, small town community feel.”
White also provided an update on Grace’s progress at the Shepherd Center, noting that she is making faster progress than what was anticipated.
While Tina and Grace were unable to provide comments at the time of publication due to their investment in the rehabilitation program, White said that Tina would want the community to know that they are grateful for the support.
“Tina has said to me multiple times that she’s just completely overwhelmed by the outreach they’ve received,” White said.
Grace’s GoFundMe page can be found here.