Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Bank fund set up for girl

Firefighters drive donations

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Firefighters have established a savings fund at Fifth Third Bank for the 9-year-old daughter of two of their colleagues. The girl was critically injured in an automobile wreck last month in Deerfield Township.

        Mason firefighters also helped organize a blood drive for Brooke Mattina on Saturday at Fire Station 51, where 20 units of blood was donated, said Pam Eickenhorst, the fire department's administrative assistant. Blood donations for Brooke can be made at any Hoxworth location.

        Brooke's parents, Tracey and Tony, are firefighters with the Mason Fire Department.

        “We really just decided to do it to offset some costs for the family, and just out of respect and dedication for the two employees who work here,” Ms. Eickenhorst said. “We're always looking to assist our fellow brothers and sisters of the fire department whenever they're in need.”

        Brooke, who has had five surgeries since she was admitted into Children's Hospital Medical Center Aug. 14, left the intensive care unit Friday, Mrs. Mattina said. She's now in the rehabilitation unit.

        Brooke begins tutorial sessions at the hospital today, about three weeks before she is expected to be released, Mrs. Mattina said.

        Mrs. Mattina said her family has been “absolutely overwhelmed” with the expressions of appreciation for her daughter.

        “There are just so many people we need to thank. It has just been overwhelming,” she said of the support.

        Mrs. Mattina was driving her three daughters home about 2 p.m. Aug. 14, when Diane Beatty, 45, of Mason, backed her Toyota Avalon out of a private driveway onto Mason-Montgomery Road.

        Ms. Beatty's car was struck by the Mattina family's Ford Explorer, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Brooke, who was riding with her mother and sisters, Bryanna, 15, and Brittany, 11, was ejected from the vehicle, Mr. Mattina said. Fire officials said the Explorer rolled several times before coming to a stop.

        Ms. Beatty was cited for failure to yield, a misdemeanor.

        Mrs. Mattina said Brooke broke several bones in her right hand, and her right arm had to be reconstructed with muscles from her stomach. She said Brooke also broke several bones in her left leg.

        Donations may be made to the Brooke Mattina Fund savings account at any Fifth Third Bank.


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