This Saturday night, Tyrannosaurus Chicken is playing at White Water Tavern to benefit 2-year-old hit-and-run victim Lilly Thacker and her family. Lilly was hit by a car on March 13 in Mena and was med-flighted to Arkansas Children's Hospital where she's spent most of her time in ICU.
Smilin' Bob Lewis of Tyrannosaurus Chicken told the Arkansas Times that all tips and donations at the show will go to the family to help ease their financial burden. A portion of merchandise sales will also be donated, he said. The show starts at 10 p.m., with a $5 cover.
Lilly's mom, Lauren, has spent day and night with her daughter at the hospital. Lauren's younger son, Zane, is being cared for by family members in Fort Smith. She has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the bank where she works in Mena. Lilly's dad, grandparents and other family are traveling many miles to visit Lilly and to bring Zane to visit his mom at the hospital. Zane had a small birthday party in Lilly's room on Sunday and Lilly reached for his hand. Zane wasn't allowed in Lilly's room in ICU because of hospital rules.
After days of positive news indicating "amazing progress," a family friend had posted a Facebook update Wednesday stating that doctors had discovered fluid on Lilly's brain. Lilly had gradually regained movement in her arms and one leg.
"Once the swelling in her brain goes down, she may be able to move her legs again. She may not." Lauren told the Times, "They are trying to figure out why she is inconsolable and so lethargic. They are doing an MRI tomorrow to try to get more answers."
A few weeks ago the doctors removed Lilly from the ventilator and is now able to breathe on her own. She was recently moved to a regular room to start rehab. She does still have a feeding tube but in recent days, she has tried to talk a little.
Lauren, friends and family have updated daily Lilly's progress since the accident occurred. Lilly has been described as a fighter from the time she was taken to the hospital.
From April 11, Lauren shared: "Although Lilly smiled today (incredibly awesome) it's been one of the hardest days for both of us. She is real agitated. Sometimes I can't make her stop crying and that's one of the worst feelings a momma can get. I miss my son so much. I want to take care of him soo bad! We will be here probably several weeks if not longer. Boo."
Days have been good and bad. Lauren harbors no hate for the man who ran over the little girl, she said. The 28-year-old driver was reportedly texting and was later apprehended after police tracked him down with a piece of his pickup truck found in the road, according to Arkansas Online. Lauren is focusing all her energy on Lilly's recovery, she said.