Mountain View grad out of intensive care in California

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

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Burton's friend since high school, Christina Van Delden, started the Praying for Tyler Burton Facebook page with Burton's dad, Roger Burton.

Burton's mom started a Caringbridge page for her son.

The family is collecting money to pay for medical bills on GoFundMe.com.

Doctors told Tyler Burton's family that the 21-year-old wouldn't survive after suffering serious head injuries in California in late October.

On Thursday, the 2010 Mountain View High School graduate was released from intensive care and checked in at an acute care center in Redding, Calif., his stepdad Roddy Hash said.

Understanding the bleak outlook, the day before Thanksgiving Burton's family was looking into having his organs donated. A few days later, Burton's condition improved slightly. Doctors said he'd survive but would probably live in a nursing home for the rest of his life. Now he's starting to regain some control over his body, is recognizing his family and talking a bit.

"Words can't describe it," Hash said of Burton's improvement. "I can't describe it. I'll never be able to."

Burton will stay at the acute pain center for the next two to five weeks while doctors and nurses attempt to stimulate his body as much as possible. Hash said the objective is to see what he'll be able to do.

Burton was injured after being punched in the face in late October. He fell to the ground, according to a Chico, Calif., police press release. When police arrived, he was unconscious. He sustained "significant head trauma" and was sent to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Hash said he's been there with his wife, Kim Hash (Burton's mom), and Burton's father, Roger Burton, since Tyler was injured.

He said it's a "breath of fresh air" having Burton out of intensive care.

The family said it is grateful for the support from the community. They've received cards from people all over the United States.

Hash's friend, Mike Parker, is working to set up a benefit concert that will feature Beat Frequency and four other local bands. Proceeds will help pay for Tyler's medical bills. Any bands interested in playing in the concert or anyone interested in donating items for a silent auction can get in touch with Parker at 360-281-4791 or mikeparker5@comcast.net.