8th grader helping friend communicate again by building electronic device

LOVELAND, Ohio — An area eighth grader is working hard this holiday season to give his friend his voice back.

Sycamore Junior High Schooler Jacob Smilg love electronics, and now he’s using his passion to help his friend Ethan Kadish communicate again.

IN DEPTH: Ethan’s World: Home and progress, setbacks and pain

As WCPO has previously reported, Ethan was struck by lightning in 2013, an injury that nearly killed him, leaving him on a slow, wheelchair-bound road to recovery. He can’t walk, talk, eat or go to the bathroom on his own.

Now, Jacob wants to add to the progress Ethan has made along that road to recovery by programming a video board to help Ethan communicate. As recently as last month, Ethan began using blinks to communicate "yes" or "no": Jacob hopes his device will push Ethan even further.

Watch in the viewer above as WCPO’s Tony Mirones talks with Jacob about the device that will help Ethan along his road to recovery.

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