A huge outpouring of support has grown online for Rancho Cucamonga teen Matt Lipp, who has been in a coma for a week, after suffering a seizure earlier this month.
Lipp, who had no prior major medical issues, fell into seizure at the home of his friend Michael Dean on Jan. 4 and was immediately transported to the hospital.
Dean, who visited his friend at the intensive care unit of Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles on Wednesday, said Lipp has had a seizure every day since his ordeal began, until Tuesday night when his family reported no seizures.
"He was doing really good," said Dean, a freshman at Chaffey High School. "He was sleeping perfect." Close friend Audrey Conte, a sophomore at Alta Loma High School, said friends didn't think the condition was serious at first, until they heard Lipp was in a coma.
"It was rough at first," Conte said. "It was hard to eat and sleep. It's gotten easier."
Thanks to the efforts of Conte, Dean, friend Emily Danna, and other friends, Lipp's story has spread throughout the region.
The group began tweeting out the hashtags #Lippstrong and #PrayforMatt. Since then a multitude of well-wishers have left messages of support on family Facebook pages, Instagram, and on Twitter.
"It was just between us, and then one or two days after, it just broke out," Dean said. High school students in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District have also posted messages and posters of support,
"We were just non-stop tweeting about it because we were so heartbroken," Danna said.
His older brother Joey said doctors suspect it may be autoimmune encephalitis and tests are still being conducted.
"We don't know what triggered it," Lipp said. "The doctors really have no idea and they're guessing it could have started with the cold or the flu, or a sinus infection.
Joey Lipp said the family is extremely grateful for the support. The family spends every night at the hospital gaining strength from the messages.
"It's been amazing," Lipp said. "Every night our family gets together and we go through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and look at everything everybody's been writing and it's one of those things that keeps us hopeful and strong, because we've had so many people who have cared."
Many supporters, including the Rancho Cucamonga High School Cougars baseball team, have since visited Matt in the hospital.
Matt played for the Cougars, and has aspirations to attend the University of Hawaii on a baseball scholarship, according to his brother.
To support Lipp's family, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthewlipp
Chili's is also hosting a fundraiser at locations in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Diamond Bar and Corona, on Jan. 22 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers must bring a flyer provided by the support group, which can be found posted on @RanchoNow on Twitter.