Camdenton to host welcome-home celebration for local child injured in vehicle accident

Lake Sun Leader

If all goes as planned, 12-year-old Demarckus Rhoades will finally be released and make his way home to Camdenton later today where a crowd of well-wishers are expected to gather to celebrate his recovery.

On Saturday, June 20, Rhoades was involved in an accident when he was struck by a vehicle. He has spent the last 3 weeks at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City where he has undergone multiple surgeries, including having his leg amputated above the knee. While hospitalized, Rhoades suffered several setbacks but has managed to recover to the point he is being allowed to come home where he will face a long road to recovery, including learning to walk, again.

K. C. Cloke, a family friend, is spearheading efforts to welcome Rhoades home. The family has been grateful for all the outpouring of support they have received from the local community. That support from family, friends the school and even complete strangers is what gave her the idea for a welcome home celebration. However, plans originally were for later in July but on Monday, Rhoades received the news that he was going to be able to make the trip home much sooner than anticipated, she said. And, it looks like he may be making the trip without his mom who has been staying with him in Kansas City. She is about to give birth and it doesn't look like doctors are going to allow her to travel. Rhoades attends Oak Ridge Elementary. One of his teachers, Emily Rice, describes him as a "sweet, football-loving soul who just completed his sixth grade year."

Rhoades now faces challenges far beyond what any child should expect, including how to navigate a wheelchair and learn to walk again, she said. "With his positive attitude and the support of his Lake family and community, he is going to meet this challenge head-on, Rice said.

Rice was involved in a fundraiser to benefit Rhoads, raising money for medical bills, modifications at home and help with transportation costs to and from appointments.

The public is invited to come out to the Camdenton square to welcome Rhoades home.