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Teen who fell off SUV in Spring Hill recovering from brain injury

The New York teen who fell off the back of a sport utility vehicle in Spring Hill last month is enjoying chicken wings, teasing nurses and playing cards, his father said Thursday.

That's the kind of progress 14-year-old Nicholas Bowermaster Jr.'s family didn't expect to see so soon after his Aug. 28 accident. Nicholas, who goes by Nico, suffered a severe injury when he hit the pavement, prompting doctors to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure created when his brain swelled, said his father, Nicolas Bowermaster Sr.

"Nico's doing fine," Bowermaster said. "He was playing Uno the other day and was contemplating his next move."

Nico's mother, Yessenia Bowermaster, 32, was driving a 2005 Ford Expedition west on Elston Street about 4 p.m. Aug. 28 when she realized her son was holding on to the back of the vehicle, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. A passenger sitting in the front seat — Nico's younger brother — saw the boy jump off and land in the roadway, the report said.

Nico was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and transferred to nearby All Children's Hospital within an hour or so.

He remained in an induced coma for 10 days. Doctors performed the surgery to relieve the brain swelling, and the boy's breathing tube was removed late last week, his father said.

Weakness in Nico's left arm is improving, but his memory has been affected, his father said. He doesn't remember the accident.

Yessenia Bowermaster did not immediately see her son hanging from the back because luggage obscured her view, the FHP said. No charges were filed.

The Bowermasters are separated. Nicholas Sr. lives in St. Petersburg, and Yessenia had brought the boys to Florida for a vacation. They were visiting Nicholas Sr.'s parents in Spring Hill at the time of the accident.

Nico is expected to remain in the hospital for another couple of months, but doctors don't expect he will suffer any severe, permanent disability, his father said.

The avid artist and actor gets good grades at the Theater Arts Production Company School, a middle/high school in the Bronx, and he's eager to start his freshman year of high school, his father said.

"He's a good kid."

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431.

Teen who fell off SUV in Spring Hill recovering from brain injury 09/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 8:17pm]
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