Friends, family and community members packed into Boston Pizza Plus on Sunday afternoon in support of Morgen May, who suffered chemical burns on her legs while in the pool at her part-time job on July Fourth.
What began as her legs burning and itching quickly became extreme pain for the 17-year-old senior at Carolina Forest High School.
“The next night when she came home her legs were completely swollen from her hips down on both legs,” said Laura May, Morgen’s mother.
The pain from the burns has gotten so bad that she now uses a wheelchair to get around because it hurts too much to walk.
Morgen had only begun working a little more than a month before suffering the burns while in a pool at her job.
“I was working to help my mom with the bills,” she said of her single mother. However, she’s been unable to work since the incident.
Doctors have not been able to treat Morgen but her mother is hopeful that she will be able to get her into a specialized hospital so she can receive whatever treatment she needs.
“All of my feelers are out to find a place to help her. Whether it’s the Mayo Clinic or a Shriners hospital – wherever she needs to go … to be with people who know how to help her,” Laura May said.
Morgen recently was authorized for medical homebound instruction and has missed a lot of school due to the pain.
“We live in a second-floor walk-up so it’s very difficult for her to get down,” Laura May said.
She’s a bit behind but hopes the homebound instruction will get her caught up.
“She needs to get good grades so she can get into college,” Laura May said.
Morgan said she hopes to go to either the University of South Carolina or Duke and study medicine – a desire she had even before her own medical problems.
Jennifer Lombardi learned of Morgen’s situation a few weeks ago and decided to organize a fundraiser for her.
“Once I found out their story I couldn’t not do anything,” she said. “And we want to educate the community about what can happen in the pools.”
Money raised Sunday will go toward the medical expenses Morgen has already accumulated and the ones her mother said she knows will come in the future.