A Lawton man fights for his life in an Oklahoma City hospital. The 19-year-old was hit by an accused drunk driver on Sept. 15, the day before his 19 birthday.
Kaiyo Raethong's family owns a restaurant in Lawton called Thai Noodle World. That was the last place Raethong and his parents got to laugh, talk and embrace before the crash left him on life support.
"I told him that Dad and Mom will stay with him by his side," said Kaiyo Raethong's father Wansawang Raethong. Wansawang also goes by Michael.
Just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 15, Michael Raethong and his wife got a call no parent wants to answer. Lawton police said his son, Kaiyo Raethong, had been hit by a driver who appeared to be drunk.
Kaiyo Raethong's injuries were so severe, he needed to be flown to OU Medical in Oklahoma City.
"We were just shocked. We cannot do nothing. We cannot move. Me and my wife, we didn't know what to do," said Michael Raethong.
Lawton police said Ricky Holland drove the other car. Kaiyo Raethong just blocks away from his friend's house. One of his friends was also in the car but only suffered minor injuries.
Kaiyo Raethong wanted to enlist in the military with plans to become a doctor and take care of his parents in their retirement. Now, his parents are faced with the most difficult decision.
"We just believe that he's going to be coming back. We strongly believe that God's going to heal him, and he'll be coming back home," Michael Raethong said.
Michael Raethong and his wife have to either close the restaurant to make the almost hour and a half long trip to see their son; or Michael Raethong makes a fast trip down alone when things are slow while his wife stays at the family's business. He's made multiple trips down in a day just to be by Kaiyo Raethong's bedside.
"The impact from COVID, we don't have enough to hire people to help in the kitchen," Michael Raethong said. "I have to hold him. I have to talk to him, whether he's going to know or not."
As of now, Holland was charged with DUI causing great bodily injury, but those charges could change.
There is a GoFundMe set up to help Kaiyo Raethong's family during this difficult time. Click here to donate.