Days after Brody Allen's death, family returns to hospital for another heartbreak

CINCINNATI -- Eleven days after burying their 2-year-old son Brody, whose congenital brain cancer claimed his life, Shilo and Todd Allen were at the hospital with another child.

Andrew Allen, 18, lay unconscious Thursday morning at the center of a nest of tubes: One down his throat to help him breathe; an IV in his left arm; monitors attached to his temples.

He had been struck by a car while crossing Springdale Road on Monday, according to Colerain Township police spokesman Jim Love. Then he had been struck by another. Police did not publicize the total number of drivers who hit him -- only that there had been several and none of them had been charged by Thursday night.

"Our grief and pain is simply indescribable right now," Todd Allen wrote in a Facebook group he originally created to chronicle Brody's last months. "We desperately need your help."

Andrew Allen's wounds included traumatic brain injury, damage to his heart, lungs and kidneys, compound fractures in both legs, a broken shoulder blade and a damaged collarbone, his father wrote. His blood pressure and heart function were too erratic for doctors to safely operate on his other injuries.

Like he had for Brody, Allen -- a truck driver who took time off from work to stay with his younger son -- created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover Andrew's medical expenses.

The Allen family became a rallying point for the Colerain community during Brody's final months of life. When they decorated their home with lights, presents and lawn ornaments to ensure the toddler would see a second Christmas regardless of his life expectancy, neighbors joined in. Strangers sent him cards.

Others in Colerain helped organize a late-September Christmas parade complete with a Santa Claus and a firework show. 

"It made his day. It made everybody's day," Todd Allen said then. "We're grateful to everyone for coming out and giving our family a huge hug."

On Thursday, he again thanked the people who had supported the family and asked them to open their hearts.

"Today as I sit at Andrew's hospital bedside I know that I am not strong enough to do this on my own," he wrote. "Please, if your inclined, pray for Andrew's healing and recovery. I don't care what faith, language, religion, or perspective in life you come from. Your prayers, thoughts and well wishes carried us and more importantly, I believe, gave Brody the strength and a little extra time, to live his last days to the fullest with absolute joy. Please, we need your help again."

Pastor Matt Castleman said the community was already behind them.

"We're asking God to heal Drew -- to fully restore him," he said. "We talked to Todd, Drew's father earlier, (and) heard from a friend that Drew is still fighting. He's strong, and we believe God has more plans for Drew."

Jim Love said all the drivers involved in the crash that injured Andrew Allen remained on scene; Todd Allen thanked them for doing so in his post and said he would pray for them.

Crews reconstructed the scene Wednesday. The crash remains under investigation.

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