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Christmas card shower meant to keep Pa. teen awash in recovery wishes

December 20, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Greencastle-Antrim High School senior Megan Misiak is recovering at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., from injuries she received in an Aug. 31 traffic accident.
Submitted photo

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Greencastle-Antrim High School senior Megan Misiak won’t be home for the holidays, but people in Franklin County, Pa., are hoping to send a little home to her as she rehabilitates from an Aug. 31 auto accident.

Megan’s homeroom teacher Martina Fegan is spearheading a schoolwide and communitywide Christmas card shower.

“Anyone can participate. I’m sure it would mean a lot to her. I hope we get a nice box full of cards,” Fegan said.

Caleb Bartlett, a senior and co-leader of the school’s Tumani Ambassador Club, attended a number of classes with Megan.

“It’s important to show her that the school here is a big family; we care for her, and we have her back in this tough time,” Caleb said. “Obviously, it’s going to be hard for her. We just want to make sure that she knows that she’s cared about.”

He said Megan was one of the nicest people he knew.

“She was very happy and bubbly about life and everything,” he said.

The box of Christmas cards will be picked up at the high school Thursday and delivered to Megan at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa.

Not only will she receive cards, but she’ll also receive a videotaped holiday greeting from the Class of 2012.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because she’s excited to be there (Magee Rehabilitation Hospital) because she knows the sooner she goes through the training the more independent she’ll be, but it’s also a little sad that it’s over the holidays,” Fegan said.

Megan, 18, and her mother, Penny Misiak, arrived in Philadelphia on Dec. 12. Megan is expected to undergo rehabilitation there for six weeks, according to Fegan.

Megan’s life changed dramatically during the first week of her senior year at Greencastle.

Megan suffered serious injuries in a one-vehicle accident while on her way to G-AHS on Aug. 31, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Police said the crash happened at 7:13 a.m. on Interstate 81 north of Exit 5 in Greencastle, Pa.

She was driving a 2006 Ford F-250 pickup truck en route to school when one of the vehicle’s rear tires blew out, according to police.

Police said she lost control of the truck, crossed over the left lane, went into the median and rolled over after hitting an embankment.
Megan was ejected from the vehicle. She was transported to York (Pa.) Hospital, police said.

“She’s been in my homeroom for four years. I’ve seen her every morning,” Fegan said. ”She’s always had a smile on her face and a very positive attitude. She just kind of embodied looking at things from the bright side, and that’s how she’s handled her whole situation.”

Positive attitude
Megan’s mother Penny, who spoke to The Herald-Mail from Philadelphia, said despite all of her daughter’s hurdles she is holding on to her positive attitude.

“She is staying positive. I know it’s getting tougher on her, especially during the holidays,” Penny said.

As a result of the accident, Megan is paralyzed from the waist down. But Penny is not convinced it’s a permanent paralysis.

“There was another girl down here (Magee Rehabilitation Hospital) who was told her paralysis was complete. But, oh my gosh, she is walking,” Penny said.

After a full day of therapy, an exhausted Megan said Monday she is staying positive.

“With all the obstacles put in my way, I’m doing really well,” Megan said. “I still stay positive, but it is harder than it was before.”

Both Penny and Megan are overwhelmed by the love and support they have received from the students and the Greencastle community.

“Prayers definitely help, and I like getting cards,” Megan said. “Just knowing that they care helps.”

As a member of Greencastle’s National Honor Society, Megan is still on track to graduate with the Class of 2012. But, due to her time out of school for medical reasons, Megan plans to complete her schooling online, she said.

After graduation, she plans to attend college to become a math teacher or an elementary education teacher.

The Tumani Ambassadors just completed a Tastefully Simple fundraiser for Megan, netting about $400. In February, a volleyball tournament will be held with part of the funds benefiting Megan’s Fund.

Megan’s Fund has been established at any F&M Bank location to help offset the cost of her college education.

But, for Megan, perhaps the biggest news of all is her recent engagement to her boyfriend, Curtis Marshall, 20, of Fayetteville, Pa.

Cards or care packages can be mailed directly to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Attn: Megan Misiak, 1513 Race Street Philadelphia, PA. 19102

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