POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - The Powhatan community is rallying behind an 11-year-old boy who had brain surgery Wednesday after an unexpected medical issue.
Cooper Stuart, a fifth-grader at Pocahontas Elementary School, suffered a seizure June 6, according to family friend Nancy Parker.
“After the rescue squad got him stable, they took him to Chippenham Hospital. Doctors discovered that Cooper had a tumor on his brain,” Parker said.
Drawing from experience with her own medical issues, Pocahontas Elementary School fifth-grader Bryleigh Roop decided to step up and help.
"He likes Tech colors," Bryleigh said.
Finding inspiration through those colors of maroon and orange, Bryleigh is focused on giving back to Cooper by selling the artwork she creates.
"It makes me feel grateful that I can help Cooper and his family with their medical stuff," Bryleigh said.
NBC12 first interviewed Bryleigh in December when she decided to start selling her art to help pay for her own medical expenses for a rare disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis or EOE.
“We’re in a good place now and were able to get a lot of things figured out,” Favienne Roop, Bryleigh’s mother, said. “Over the past couple of days we kind of had the same thought to see if we could do the same for Cooper.”
So far, Bryleigh has raised about $100 from her artwork, but there is still plenty up for grabs.
Not only is Bryleigh rallying to support Cooper, but so is the Powhatan community.
Since Cooper was hospitalized, his school, Pocahontas Elementary, has collected more than $4,000 through various donations.
School staff also took time Tuesday to pray for Cooper's surgery, sporting those vivid Tech colors.
"[You could pay] a dollar a day to wear a Tech hat for the whole day just to show our support for Cooper," Favienne said.
A statement from Powhatan County Schools reads:
“The Pocahontas Elementary School community of students, staff, and families has rallied around one of their fifth grade students, Cooper Stuart, who was hospitalized last week. To support the family and their growing medical expenses, the school community has collected more than $4,000.00 through various donation opportunities. We are very appreciative of how our community comes together in times of need. We miss Cooper and look forward to him returning to school.”
Even businesses like Vintage Antique Shack, which sells Bryleigh’s paintings for her own expenses, posted to social media about Cooper and a yard sale that will be held next week to benefit the family.
“Cooper is a fun-loving 11-year-old who loves music, sports (especially basketball), doing anything with his best friend and brother Reece,” Parker said.
Since news of Cooper’s medical situation has spread, the hashtag #CooperStrongPVA was created.
“They’re just an amazing family who have put so much into this community,” Favienne said. “They’re so bright, loving, generous, thoughtful. It’s just hard not to give it back to them.”
A GoFundMe has been created for Cooper’s medical expenses.
For anyone who wishes to purchase Bryleigh’s artwork to support the Stuart family you can email BryleighRoopArt@gmail.com.
For the latest updates on Cooper’s condition, click here.
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