Fundraiser held for injured Bucks County student

May 12, 2013 7:54:23 PM PDT
A fundraiser was held Saturday for Neshaminy High School student Matt Cruz, who was left paralyzed from the chest down after a bus accident in February.

It was the moment Matt Cruz and his entire support system had been waiting for; his homecoming to Bucks County.

"It feels great to be home. I've missed it. I've missed everything about all the people and just being home," said Matt.

It has been almost three months since the Neshaminy High School sophomore was in a devastating bus crash in Boston.

The 16-year-old, who was on a college tour, suffered spinal injuries paralyzing him from the chest down.

He was finally released from Magee Rehabilitation Saturday, and his first stop was to Our Lady of Grace School in Penndel where he surprised his friends who were holding a fundraiser for him called "Cruzing on Home."

"It's unbelievable that he has made such tremendous progress in such a short amount of time, and to be able to want to come out to his fundraiser with this positive attitude of I'm not going to be a prisoner in my house," said Matt's mother Megan Cruz.

More than a dozen musical acts hit the stage Saturday night, all of them students from area schools.

There was also a raffle and baked goods for sale. The extraordinary effort was organized by friends and former classmates.

"They were a little in denial at first, because you just don't think something like this is going to happen to someone that you know. I think they were in shock. And once the shock wore off, they decided that they were going to help," said Juli Flynn.

"None of us know what it is like for him to go through this, but I think that it is really important for him to see that people care and that people want to be there for him because it will help him get through it a little better," said Emily McFadden.

Matt is scheduled to be back to physical therapy next week.

"It means a lot, coming from all these people in the county who are coming together, it means a lot everyone is trying to help out," said Matt.

As Matt continues his road to recovery, the fundraising will continue.

Donations can be made to the Matt Cruz Foundation at Bucks First Federal Credit Union located at 2104 Bath Road in Bristol.