Tim Albo: Hit-and-run victim making progress, but brother Rodney says he faces long road

Ever since Tim Albo was critically injured in a hit-and-run at 20th and Cherokee, his family has been fighting on his behalf -- and thanks in part to their efforts, the vehicle used in the crash led authorities to Brandon Mondragon, who's facing multiple charges in an incident that also injured Heather Kornman. Now, Tim's condition is improving -- but his brother, Rodney, says many challenges lay ahead.

Albo wound up in a lingering coma after being struck on October 3, but Rodney says "he woke up late last week, and he's showing some really good signs." Staffers at Denver Health "made him stand up alongside his bed. So he's really done a 180 as far as how he's doing.

"The doctors told us they're really excited about his progression," he goes on. "They told us that in cases like this, where somebody comes in completely unconscious and they don't wake up, the outcome is usually really bleak."

At this point, Tim isn't able to speak, and he isn't initiating much movement. "He's more reactive right now," Rodney says. "He's just kind of barely reacting to us as a family -- noticing my sisters, myself, my brothers. One time, my sister leaned down to put a kiss on his cheek, and he actually looked like he was puckering his lips. But what we're hoping to see is more of what they call purposeful movement -- something that he's doing because of what he's thinking, and not because he's reacting to something else. That's what we're hoping and praying for in the next couple of days."

With doctors discussing surgery "to replace the part of his skull that was taken out to relieve some of the pressure" this week, Rodney says, the next step is a possible move to a long-term progressive-care facility. But paying for such treatment won't be easy.

"We found out that Tim didn't have long-term or short-term disability, and he's not covered under my parents' insurance," Rodney notes. "Everything he's received is through his insurance, but we're worried about giving him the proper care he needs -- and without some kind of assistance coming in, it's really tough to do that."

Fortunately, members of the community have been very generous thus far -- and Wells Fargo banks have stepped up to facilitate future donations. "People can walk into any Wells Fargo and say they want to donate to the Timothy Albo medical-expense fund," Rodney points out. "It's really simple."

The compassion Albo's situation has spawned has been a godsend for Tim and his family, Rodney says: "It's been awesome to see, this outpouring of support and love. The Denver Police Department and the medical staff at Denver Health have been phenomenal to us, too. I want to thank everyone who's been a part of Tim's recovery."

This process isn't over yet by a long shot -- but at last, it's headed in the right direction.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Medical marijuana led to crash that killed John Page Hines?: Inside Joshua Wittig investigation."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts