Pet lover recovering from brain injury needs some attention of her own
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain email@example.com April 17, 2012 8:12PM
Updated: May 19, 2012 8:07AM
JOLIET — Brittany Pirc, a Jackson Township teenager whose battle to keep her pet goat was featured in The Herald-News last year, is now fighting to recover from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a serious car accident.
The 16-year-old Providence High School student was returning home to the Noel Estates subdivision from track practice March 27 when she turned in front of a semi truck on Route 53.
Passenger and fellow Providence student Nicole Beaulieu was treated for injuries and released from the hospital after several days. Brittany was placed in a medically induced coma to protect her brain from swelling.
She spent 17 days in intensive care at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center before she was moved to a pediatrics unit. On Tuesday, Brittany was moved to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
“She’s going to wake up one of these days and smile at us,” said Jennifer Arnold, Brittany’s older sister.
Doctors are “cautiously optimistic” about Brittany’s recovery, but no one really knows if it will take weeks or years, Arnold said. Updates on Brittany’s condition are available at www.caringbridge.com.
Two fundraisers have been planned to help the Pirc family with medical expenses. The first will be May 14 at Heroes West Sports Grill. Ten percent of the day’s proceeds will be given to the family. Raffle items are being sought. To donate items, email Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org. Patrons must mention Brittany’s cause when they order.
Also, a 5K run/walk will be at 12:30 p.m. May 20 at Lloyd Erickson Park in Elwood. Registration forms are available at www.elwoodschool.com. To donate raffle items for the 5K, call organizer Stella Weisfus at 815-423-6213.
Monetary donations also can be sent to an account at the Heartland Bank and Trust in Elwood.
Family friend and neighbor Debbie Cernak said organizing the race has created a positive outlet for people who want to help.
“Everyone is pulling together, and we’re going to do this,” said Cernak, whose daughter Lauren is best friends with Brittany.
Brittany’s supporters have adopted the name “Team Fierce Pirc” (Pirc rhymes with fierce) because that is a phrase the teen started using in junior high, Arnold said. “Fierce Pirc” signs have sprouted in the Jackson Township and Lockport areas. Brittany’s mom, Tina, is a Lockport Township firefighter.
Brittany is well known in the area because of her battle to save her beloved Nigerian dwarf goat, Patch. Shortly after she bought the goat last spring, a neighbor complained. Brittany and her family waged a fight to get zoning laws changed to allow pet miniature goats and pigs in rural Will County subdivisions. The zoning change remains under review.
Patch was housed at a nearby farm while the zoning issue was being debated, but the goat died in October. In a letter Brittany wrote to The Herald-News in October, she expressed her attachment to the pet.
“You were not just a ‘farm’ animal or just a goat; you were my pet. I love you, Patch, and you will always be in my heart.”