Tzakary Rainsberg didn’t get to do many of the things he would have wanted to do his senior year, but with all the positivity surrounding him and lifting him, he still ended high school on a very high note.
Not only was he named “Prom King” at Carrollton High School but he participated in commencement ceremonies with his Class of 2019 – much to the inspiration of his classmates.
In June 2017, Tzak, then 16, his older sister, Abigail, and a friend, were heading out to grab dinner and rent video games when a truck traveled left of center and hit them head on as they were driving on St. Rt. 39 between Carrollton and Dellroy. Tzak suffered a traumatic brain injury.
After spending 32 days in a medically-induced coma, it was soon clear that things we all take for granted – breathing and eating on our own, speaking and walking – would now be challenges for Tzak.
And it would be more than 5 months before he could go home.
“And yet he has made great strides, especially considering he shouldn’t be alive,” said his mother, Tisha.
Tisha said Tzak has been able to get off a seizure medication and is making progress in his ability to communicate, stand and become more independent. The family is optimistic that in the near future he will be taking first steps and be able to feed himself. Tzak will continue to take classes through Carroll Hills, a school operated by the Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and will continue to receive therapy through Akron Children’s. The opening Akron Children’s new health center in North Canton will mean shorter commutes to doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions from the family’s home in Dellroy.
“Tzak’s ongoing recovery is thanks, in large part, to his parents’ unflinching love, support, and advocacy,” said Dr. Ian Rossman, pediatric neurologist. “Being able to contribute to Tzak and his family’s achieving their goals is humbling, and it’s a great example of why I love working at Akron Children’s.”
As difficult as the past 2 years have been, the family has been buoyed by the support of their community. Friends and classmates rallied around Tzak, fundraisers and offers of help poured in, and the hashtag #RainsbergStrong can still be spotted on t-shirts, bracelets and social media posts.
Tisha said that while the family has had to alter some of its activities, they still firmly believe in living life to the fullest.
Tzak remains a big fan of the San Diego Chargers and Golden State Warriors (prior to his accident, he loved playing basketball and planned to someday move to California). He loves all things Star Wars and being outdoors, especially in his new all-terrain wheelchair. The family has an upcoming camping trip planned that will include kayaking, fishing and swimming.
“It’s important – we do what we would be doing,” said Tisha, “just now we do it at a slower pace.”