By Leticia Juarez
HEMET, California (KABC) — Angel Figueroa celebrated his 16th birthday in September, but instead of party with family and friends or learning to drive a car for the first time, he is relearning simple tasks like moving his arm.
The teen’s family said within the past few weeks, Figueroa awoke out of a coma nine months after he suffered a traumatic brain injury after of being pushed into oncoming traffic.
“Angel was jumped by three to four kids over … they were trying to rob him for his skateboard,” said Belki Brizuela, the victim’s aunt.
The incident happened in February while Figueroa was skateboarding near his Hemet home along Stetson Avenue and Seven Hills Drive.
Brizuela said her nephew was hospitalized for months in the intensive care unit after doctors had to remove a portion of his skull.
The teen has since been moved to a rehabilitation facility in Orange County to begin the long road to a new normal for both him and his family.
“He is starting to move his left side of his body more like this arm, his hand and his leg,” said Brizuela.
Figueroa’s aunt and mother have been at his side driving two hours each day. That along with mounting medical bills has taken a financial toll.
Brizuela created a GoFundMe to help her sister pay bills and help with Angel’s future needs.
“Our goal is to bring Angel home, of course, and the next thing is get a van for him, so we are trying to save up money for that,” she said.
Brizuela hopes her nephew’s story will serve as a value lesson to others.
“Teach your kids, like, it is not fun and games, you know? It’s not a joke when you go out with your friends. Every decision you make there are consequences.”
As for the four other teens involved, Brizuela told Eyewitness News the one that pushed her nephew received six months in juvenile hall while the other three were placed under house arrest.
To learn more, visit Angel’s GoFundMe: gofundme.com/f/hcyp4b-angel-figueroa?qid=7030204b6870ef012cb2a6eda4449705
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