Scouts help boy with lake bacteria

HOPE MILLS Now, he is fighting for his life at UNC Hospitals after catching a deadly flesh eating bacteria while swimming in Hope Mills Lake.

"He [Matthew] was upset when they first told him about it but so far he's been doing pretty good," Marian Kuczero of Troop 746 said. "He's excited when some of his fellow scouts have been up to see him already, so good spirits considering everything that's going on."

Doctors say the infection caused by the bacteria is rare. There are only a handful of cases around the world.

Right now, the focus is on getting him better and making it so he can communicate.

"With the surgery that they've done so far, they had to remove part of his palate and that ... when we talk our tongue rolls across the other part of our palate," Kuczero explained. "And right now he's able to say a few things."

Troop 746 is trying to raise money to purchase a laptop computer for McKinney. It will give him a wireless internet connection so he can e-mail his friends and continue working on scouting merit badges.

Kuczero said the troop also hopes to get a cell phone plan that has unlimited texting.

"Since Matthew won't be able to talk, we want him to be able to stay in touch with his friends and his fellow scouts," Kuczero said.

He said McKinney is in for a long recovery. His Boy Scout troop asks everyone to keep the family in their prayers.

If you would like to give Troop 746 a donation for McKinney, contact the Cumberland United Methodist Church at (910)425-5356.

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