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Community rallies around BHS student injured in wreck

What was supposed to be a magical evening filled with high school memories, turned into a nightmare for Bainbridge High School student Amelia McCullough after she was injured in an accident on prom night, severely damaging her spinal cord.

According to GSP Trooper Jacob Sanchez, McCullough was in a single-vehicle accident on Lock Bluff Road. McCullough was then taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where she underwent an extensive surgery. It was determined the spinal cord was broken at T12, so surgeons fused the T10 and L2 bones, while placing three screws in place of the T12 bone. McCullough was then transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The not-for-profit hospital specifically focuses on the medical treatment and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries.

Since McCullough’s transition to Shepherd Center, the community has rallied around her and her family, creating several fundraisers all while still supporting her brother, Jackson on the baseball field.

McCullough’s aunt Kacee Franklin said the family has been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support.

“They have no words to describe how thankful and in awe they are of this community,” Franklin said. “They know they can never repay our small town for everything they’ve done.”

Some of the ongoing fundraisers people can attend if interested is the River City Grill and Pizzeria Percentage Night on Wednesday, April 7.

Ten percent of all the proceeds go toward McCullough’s journey to recovery.

Other fundraisers include yard signs, bows, bracelets and cookies for Mia.

Karen Humphrey and Sunshine McCullough have teamed up to create a two-sided 18X24 yard sign with an outline of McCullough and the words “She is strong” along with Proverbs 31:25 on it. The signs cost $25 and will help with the financial needs during McCullough’s hospital stay. To purchase a sign Venmo Humphrey at @Karen-Humphrey-0521 or contact her through PayPal at karenb134@yahoo.com.

School nurse Brandy Howard is making bows that incorporate McCullough’s favorite color, pink, green for spinal cord awareness and Bearcat purple and selling them for $20 to businesses or homes that would like to place them on their mailbox or door. Those interested can Venmo Howard at @Brandy-Howard-18 or reach her through PayPal at brandyhoward1@yahoo.com.

Kenley Spooner, 9, has particularly wanted to help McCullough since she heard about her accident. She began by making bracelets and giving them to Franklin to take to McCullough and her immediate family. She then decided with her mom’s help, she could sell her bracelets and give all her proceeds to the McCulloughs.

Kenley made 50 bracelets to begin with and plans to make more if there is a want. She currently has five beaded designs to choose from that spell words such as, faith, courageous, Mia, brave and team McCullough.

The bracelets cost $10 each and can be made in adult sizes or kids sizes. Those interested are encouraged to Venmo Spooner at @Katie-Spooner-2 and specify which design they would like.

Finally, Addison Enfinger with Sweet Treats is baking a baker’s dozen cookies in pink, green and purple mini hearts. Enfinger will be taking the first set of orders up through April 10 and pickup will be April 17. She will take a second set of orders on April 24, with pickup being April 30.

Bags are $12 and customers can Vemmo Enfinger at @Addison-Enfinger. In the description include, Mia, First/Last Name, number of bags ordered and contact information.

McCullough has been so thankful to everyone for honoring her in their own way. She realizes she has a long road ahead of her, but is determined to complete her therapy.

Franklin said the family is unsure when McCullough will be able to return home, but at minimum she will be in Atlanta for four weeks.

The family’s main goal is for McCullough to drive again, so Franklin’s husband is currently working with his company Franklin Spring Creek Ford to redesign McCullough’s car, so she can drive again like nothing ever happened.

Franklin said the therapists are blown away so far at McCullough’s progress, which helps McCullough’s mentality and desire to keep pushing.

While McCullough is in good spirits, Franklin believes nothing would make her more happy and remind her that everyone is still thinking of her, than to receive birthday cards for her 17th birthday on Saturday.

Her address is Shepherd Center 2020 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30309. c/o Amelia McCullough, M429.