Help for boy with rare infection

July 1, 2009 3:28:49 PM PDT
We have an update on the Cumberland County teenage infected with a rare flesh eating bacteria.Click here for the original story

Matthew McKinney's condition is improving and folks in Fayetteville have stepped up to help the Boy Scout who lost part of his mouth and can't speak.

"He's doing really well. They're hoping that if everything flows well they might get him home this weekend for the Fourth of July," said Boy Scout Leader Marian Kuczero.

McKinney got the infection while swimming in Hope Mills Lake. While the bacteria is common, it's unusual for humans to be infected by it. Doctors speculate it could have gotten into McKinney's system through a cut.

To fight off the infection, doctors had to remove part of McKinney's mouth and nose - even some of his teeth - so he can't talk.

Fellow scouts have been raising money for a cell phone and computer so he can communicate by text and e-mail.

But now, Best Buy has stepped up to the plate. It's providing a cell phone with an unlimited text plan and a high powered computer.

"From the Word documents to e-mail on-line, you can do all of that. But he can plan essentially any video game that is out right now with this machine," explained Fayetteville Best Buy manager Michael Snook.

Snook says he was touched by Mathew's story.

"As a leader in the community in Best Buy and myself having kids of my own, I can't imagine what this family is going through. And we wanted to help out anyway we can," he said.

But the equipment isn't all Mathew and his family needs. There are huge medical expenses, plus all the costs of travelling back and forth to Chapel Hill from Fayetteville for the family.

He'll have to go back to the doctors many times for reconstructive surgery.

To contribute, contact:

CUMBERLAND UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
2262 George Owen Road
Fayetteville, NC 28306
(910) 425-5356

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