Carthage High School students and residents are working together to help another student who was injured in a car crash in August and faces a future partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury.

Carthage High School students and residents are working together to help another student who was injured in a car crash in August and faces a future partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury.
Students are planning a fund-raiser chili feed and silent auction from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 in the Carthage High School commons area for Grant Trent, a junior who was injured in a car crash east of Carthage on Aug. 13.
Trent was a passenger in a pickup truck when, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the driver lost control, the truck hit a culvert, went airborn and hit a tree, ejecting Trent and causing a spinal cord injury.
Trent is paralyzed and, after a few weeks recovering at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, was taken to Craig Hospital in Denver for specialized rehabilitation and care.
Trent and his parents are in Colorado helping him recover, so the students and residents are trying to help them pay for some of the costs of the loss of income and staying in Colorado while maintaining their home in Carthage.

Shared experience
Sue Stark knows something about what the Trent family is going through.
Her son, Scott Hettinger, was 19 when he was in a crash that left him with a spinal cord injury and paralysed.
Hettinger also went to Craig Hospital for his rehabilitation and to learn how to live life to its fullest from a wheelchair.
“He went to the same place and went through some of the same things,” Stark said. “(Hearing about Grant) brought everything back. Every time there's a child or a teen, in particular, that's in a car accident with a spinal cord injury, then Scott or I or Scott and his wife will go to the hospital and visit to console them or answer questions.”
Stark said the community rallied for her family while they went through their ordeal and she and her son have taken it upon themselves to pay that forward.
She said the families of two other Carthage residents, Dan Rife, the Carthage City Council Member, and David Coffey, who operates the Colonial House on the Carthage Square, came to visit her when her son was injured.
“When Scott was injured, I didn't even know you could live through a broken neck,” Stark said. “I didn't know that, so people were coming, like David Coffee and Danny Rife's family, those two particular families, came to visit me at the hospital and answered questions. I knew I had to take Scott someplace where they specialized in spinal cord injuries on teenagers. He was 19, a college sophomore, a basketball player. We took him to Craig.”

Help with the basics
When Stark heard about the fundraiser, she decided she wanted to do more, so she's made a quilt and is raffling it off as part of the fundraiser.
“You don't make that much money on a quilt in a silent auction, but in a raffle, you bring in more,” Stark said. “That kind of care is not cheap, they have double living expenses and they also have the loss of income. I've been there, I know what it's like, and I know that we were impacted by this community more than I can even tell you. The things they did for us, it was just huge, so I thought this was my opportunity to give something back by doing this. When I heard about the student council doing the chili feed, I thought this was perfect, I'll make a quilt and I'll raffle it off the weeks prior to the chili feed.
She's selling tickets for $5 each and five tickets for $20.
Stark said through social media, she's heard from friends and strangers from across the country wanting to help the Trent family.
“We have a great community,” Stark said. “Most people don't send their kids off without an I love you or a hug or something, and you just have to be aware something can happen at any time. You have to be mindful. Sometimes we don't think about it. I never thought when Scott left that day I'd get a call from the police saying my son was in the emergency room and they didn't expect him to live through the weekend. But he did and he's here, so Scott and his wife and others, we're doing everything we can to help.”
The students have established an event on Facebook for the chili feed called “Grant Trent Benefit.” Stark has set up a Facebook page for her quilt raffle at “Quilt Raffle for Grant Trent Family.”
People wanting more information about the chili feed and silent auction can email Kelsey Stenger at or Coach Lowell Catron at

Editor's Note: Corrected to reflect that Grant Trent is a junior this year, not a sophomore.