ATLANTA - A family is seeing signs of hope after a young father was severely beaten outside a Villa Rica bar.
At one point this week, Chase Mayfield's family said it looked like he would not survive. The April 12 beating left him in a coma. Then, he surprised everyone, especially his doctors, by opening his eyes and trying to communicate.
"The doctor told us it was a miracle. He said every doctor has that one story and this was his," Cody Mayfield told Channel 2’s Ashley Swann.
He said he and his family are thanking God for the miracle that kept his 21-year-old brother alive just when they thought he wouldn't make it.
"The next day, he kind of opened his eyes a little bit and squeezed our hand," Mayfield said.
His brother, a father of two, is fighting for his life after he was chased, beaten and kicked by three men outside a Villa Rica bar, police said.
"He's a fighter, and he's strong, so he's staying with it," Mayfield said.
Villa Rica police have charged Greg Rainwater, Gene Norris and Michael Baldwin each with aggravated assault and battery. But the victim’s family said that's not its focus.
"Hatred's not going to get you anywhere, so we're just leaving it in God's hands and letting that work itself out," Cody Mayfield said.
Instead, he’s celebrating his brother’s progress, which includes breathing on his own, spoon-feeding and trying to communicate.
"Words can't describe it," Mayfield said.
Family members attribute the progress to the prayers and support pouring in from their community and around the world, through prayer rallies, fundraisers and T-shirts for “Team Chase.”
"We feel the more encouragement we give him, the stronger he's going to be and the more fight he'll have to get better for everybody," Mayfield said.
Doctors at Atlanta Medical Center still believe Chase Mayfield has a long road of recovery ahead. He still has swelling on his brain and is fighting a staph infection.
He also doesn't have insurance, so there are a lot of fundraisers in the works to help him out financially, including Chick-fil-A Day in Villa Rica on May 2, and the Race for Chase at the Mill in Villa Rica on June 8. Donations for Mayfield can be made out to the Chase Mayfield Fund, a Suntrust account. Follow the Prayers for Chase Mayfield page on Facebook for updates. A website for Mayfield, chasemayfield.com, is set to go live Monday.