Friends of the Trey Lauren family are taking cool to a whole new level tonight.
They are taking it to freezing cold.
Hundreds of people are expected to show up at Lake Tye at 6 p.m. this evening (Wednesday) to jump in to show support for the Hidden River Middle School student, 13, who is in Children’s Hospital battling a very serious flesh-eating disease.
Until last week, Trey was a vigorous and athletic boy, playing football, baseball and basketball on area teams.
But a week ago Saturday, while playing at a friend’s birthday party, he fell and got an inch-long cut on his knee, explained family friend Tamara Norton.
His mom, Randi, took him to the hospital for six stitches, and Trey spent Sunday resting.
Monday morning, he told his mom he didn’t feel well.
“She looked at him and could tell that something was wrong; he was running a little fever,” said Norton. Thinking that maybe he was worried about getting on the bus with his stitches, she said she would drive him to school.
But first, she checked his stitches and noticed they were oozing. So she changed the bandage and went to get ready. Ten minutes later, the bandages were soaked through.
A trip to school was changed to a trip to Urgent Care.
At first, his doctor cleaned the wound and gave him antibiotics, but the knee started swelling.
That night, his parents took Trey back to Urgent Care, and this time, the doctor sent him to Children’s Hospital.
“They did tests on his knee and it was swollen so bad, they did an MRI and right away they said, ‘Woah, this isn’t good,’” said Norton.
The MRI confirmed that Trey had necrotizing fasciitis, a form of flesh-eating infection, and it was spreading rapidly.
Since then, Trey has had a surgery every day but one, as doctors debride the tissues ahead of the infection.
There have been a few bright spots; Trey got to visit with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
But the strain on his family will be considerable.
“They have insurance but it’s not going to cover the extent of everything,” said Norton. “The parents can’t work right now.”
At first, the jump into the lake was meant merely to cheer Trey up.
It arose from an event that went viral on social media called the “Winter Challenge.” Beginning in Canada, people filmed themselves jumping into frigid waters. They duck all the way in and then post the video clip on Facebook or other media and challenge their friends to do the same within 24 hours.
It seemed like a way to put a smile on Trey’s face, and it most certainly will.
“People are going to record themselves jumping in and he can watch and feel the support,” said Norton.
But now friends of the family are selling Pray for Trey t-shirts and wristbands and raising money to help the family weather the crisis.
Friends have also started a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/490147741108368/ for the event, and https://www.facebook.com/prayfortrey21 for Trey and his family.