For many college students studying abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. But what would you do if your loved one was in an accident half a world away?
An effort is currently underway to help the family of a University of St. Thomas student injured in Japan.
Luke Adams of Eden Prairie, Minn. was in a medically induced coma after he was hit by a car a few weeks ago. He's doing much better now, but his family needs help to stay by his side while he recovers thousands of miles from home.
"Everybody loves Luke," his stepfather Carl Bennett said. "He embraces everyone in the world and they likewise embrace him."
He has been known as "Sunny" his whole life for having such an optimistic personality. Ever since he turned 12, Adams has wanted to study in Japan -- but now his lifelong dream has turned into a nightmare.
"Nobody has had any time to process things," Bennett said. "No time for emotion."
Luke was crossing the street in Oita, Japan after celebrating a friend's birthday with a group of other study abroad students last month.
He was nearly through the crosswalk when the light changed and he was struck by not one, but two cars… one right after the other.
"A car speeding coming through the intersection hit Luke so hard he flipped over and over and landed on the pavement, when the car behind that car was speeding as well and ran him over," Bennett said. "So he's lucky to be alive."
According to his Caring Bridge site, Luke suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken jaw and eye socket, and more injuries.
His medical expenses are covered by insurance his family bought through the international studies abroad program but they still need help paying for Luke's mother to stay in Japan to help with his recovery, as well as for legal representation in a foreign country.
"This was a classic case of this won't happen to us, what could possibly happen?" Bennett said. "Well this is what happened."
Luke's family hopes he'll soon be well enough to finish his semester overseas and then get his diploma at the University of St. Thomas before he embarks on his next adventure.
"He's just anxious to get back to school and be with his friends," Bennett said. "He's really concerned with how his friends are dealing with this more than how he's dealing with this."
The Clear Cause Foundation which promotes safety for students studying overseas says families can buy extra insurance for everything from civil unrest to natural disasters.
The group wants to raise $20,000 to help Luke's family. A fund has also been set up at any Wells Fargo bank. For information go to the Fox 9 News app.