A former Valencia High School student is currently in urgent care in Santa Ana after sustaining serious injuries in a car crash.
His friends, also Valencia High alumni from the class of 2016, have started a GoFundMe to raise money for his hospital bills.
Alessandro Leon, a sophomore at UC Irvine, is recovering at Orange County Global Medical Center after sustaining brain trauma, a broken femur and severe bruising in an April 16 collision. Leon was driving under the toll road overpass on State Route 73 by Newport Beach more than a week ago, when he veered into a concrete freeway pillar.
Leon is a biology major with dreams of a career in health care, according to his childhood friend Stephen Fallon. He is currently in a semi-conscious state and requires breathing tubes.
Fallon said the family does not know the seriousness of the brain trauma yet; Leon went through surgery Thursday, and more information will be available when Leon wakes up, according to family and friends.
“We don’t know when he’ll wake up,” he said. “It could be tomorrow, or it could be four months from now. We don’t know.”
Fallon is currently asking for donations at gofundme.com/alessandroleon to help Leon’s family with the financial burdens of paying for their son’s medical bills.
“He’s the sort of outgoing person to introduce himself first and make you feel at home,” Fallon, a sophomore at UC Davis, said. “He’s just the most caring person I know. And on top of all that, he supports himself and he’s such a hard worker. Everything he does, he does for himself so he’s making sure his family doesn’t have to worry about his college tuition.”
“He’s the most hard working person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Ayana Sarrieddine, also a Valencia High alum and Leon’s close friend. “There was a time when he had two jobs,and even when he was balancing everything he would put everyone before himself. It makes him someone so universally loved.”
The GoFundMe has raised $2,897 as of Tuesday and has a goal of $10,000. Proceeds will go to helping his parents, Luis and Darlene Leon, and his three siblings pay for his recovery.
“When Alessandro was a little boy attending second grade at Santa Clarita, he had an assignment about, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” she said. “When he came home he told me, “Momma I want to be a doctor so I can fix your broken heart and fix Gio so he can talk”. You can only imagine how I felt. I had suffered with some issues with my heart and his older brother, Gio, is severely autistic. This is the kind of heart my boy has always had. Always wanting to fix everything and make everything right for everyone around him. We are overwhelmed by the amount of love and support for our son. He has a long road to recovery but we are all banding together to create a shield of love and prayers surrounding him until he can heal.”
Information given at the scene indicated Leon fell asleep at the wheel, said Jennifer Manzella, a Newport Beach police spokeswoman. Leon was with three other female UCI students who suffered minor injuries, but have been released from the hospital. A traffic collision investigation by the Newport Beach Police Department is still underway, Manzella said.
Fallon said he would update the page accordingly as more information on Leon’s condition becomes available.