Local family works to bring injured loved one home

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyle McGrath's father was hit by the minivan. His father was not involved in the accident.

When Brandt McGrath travelled to Portland, Oregon, to attend his sister’s wedding, he never imagined that he would have to spend the next several weeks in the hospital at his brother’s bedside.

Meghan Kurleto visits her brother Kyle McGrath at a hospital in Oregon, where he has been treated for injuries suffered from being hit by a vehicle Feb. 23 in Portland.

Kyle McGrath was getting out of a car in front of his sister’s home in Portland when he was struck by a minivan on Feb. 23.

He suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, a moderate brain bleed on his right side and a severe bleed on the left side of his brain. Part of his skull was removed to help bring down the swelling.

More than six weeks after the accident, McGrath is not fully conscious, though he shows signs of responsiveness, according to his family.

He can hold his left leg up for a few seconds, squeeze their fingers and sometimes moves his eyes.

Still in Portland, the family is trying to raise funds to help transport the West Bloomfield resident back to Michigan.

“This has been really hard on our family, let alone anyone that has gone through a situation like this,” Brandt McGrath said. “Kyle is truly an amazing person, but I know there is a long road ahead of him for recovery.”

A graduate of Oakland University, Kyle McGrath, 27, is an engineer at Irvin Automotive, a Pontiac-based interior trim supplier.

Kyle’s tracheostomy tube has been removed and he is breathing on his own. Earlier this month, he was accepted to a neuro-focused acute care facility at Oakwood Hospital and could be moved to Michigan as early as Monday, according to family members.

Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that transports individuals in need of medical care, will cover the $20,000 cost of the flight, according to Kyle’s family.

A graduate of Oakland University, Kyle McGrath, 27, is an engineer at Irvin Automotive, a Pontiac-based interior trim supplier.

A GoFundMe account was set up at https://www.gofundme.com/kylemcgrath to help with medical bills and treatment, but the family needs more than just monetary support. As of late last week, more than $43,000 had been raised.

“Letters or cards of encouragement really mean a lot to our family at this time,” Brandt McGrath said. “We are also in the process of looking for legal counsel for Kyle’s accident, so anyone that can help with that, we would be grateful.”

Growing up, Meghan Kurleto said her brother Kyle was her best friend.

“Kyle and I are three years apart and we are really close,” Kurleto said. “We talked about everything. When I got the call that he had been in an accident, the first thing I thought was that I had to call Kyle, until I realized he was the one that was hurt. I miss my brother, but I know he is strong and will make it through.”

Now Kurleto is pregnant with her first child and is devastated that Kyle will miss finding out he will be an uncle for the first time.

“My sister was getting married in Portland and Brandt is getting married in August. Kyle was supposed to be his best man,” she said. “So many milestones are happening in our family one after another and Kyle won’t be there to help us celebrate.”

While it may take months or years for Kyle to recover, the McGrath family is staying optimistic.

“This is a very scary process for all of us,” Brandt McGrath said. “We don’t know what the end result will be, but we are not going to give up on our brother.”

ksmith3@detroitnews.com

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Twitter: @kylasmith525