By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – While many people spent Sunday finishing last minute holiday errands at Orleans Shopping Center, one group of friends was trying to save a life.

The girlfriend and friends of 19-year-old Joel Ricketts handed out flyers and raised money any way they could.

Ricketts was in a bad accident while visiting in Jamaica on December 18. He is now on life support there with blood clots in his brain.

Joel Ricketts. (Family Photo)

Now his friends are trying to raise $40,000 to have Ricketts taken home to Massachusetts by MedFlight. Ricketts is currently in stable condition, but his family wants to transport him to a waiting bed at Mass General Hospital.

“I’m trying to my hardest here but inside I will admit I’m a mess. But it’s best for me to stay calm and collected for his family,” said LaTasha Miranda, who has been dating Ricketts for over a year. “He’s always been there for anyone in need so the fact that this is happening everyone is crushed by it.”

Javian Steward of Truro met Joel sophomore year of high school.

“He’s such a great friend I felt like we had to do something,” Steward said.

Friends of Joel Ricketts raise money in Orleans trying to pay for his MedFlight home. (WBZ-TV)

The group came to the shopping center in Orleans around 3 p.m. with the goal of raising $40,000 to pay for Ricketts’ flight. Their only holiday wish is that Joel can make the trip home.

An online fundraising page has also raised about $11,000 as of Sunday night.

Only hoping everyone’s kindness will give Joel the strength he needs.

“Everyone’s already spent all their money on their kids and other family members and for them to give money to someone they don’t even know or have heard of or anything like that is amazing,” said Shamier Nesbeth of Harwich.

Lisa Gresci


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