Greencastle teen to go home from hospital after August accident

September 09, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Malory Weller rides her horse in this photograph provided by her family. Malory, 17, a senior at Greencastle-Antrim (Pa.) High School, is expected to come home Tuesday after being hospitalized since her Aug. 4 vehicle accident.
Submitted photo

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Doctors didn’t think 17-year-old Malory Weller would survive the accident that trapped her inside her vehicle without food, water or medical treatment for more than 11 hours.

But, they didn’t take into account the fighting spirit of the spunky Greencastle-Antrim High School senior, who has battled back against the odds and will return home soon to her family and friends.

Malory’s mother, Tressa Weller, who has been at her side every day since the Aug. 4 accident, called The Herald-Mail with good news.

“Malory is coming home on Tuesday!” Weller choked out over a mixture of happy sobs and laughter.

Malory was involved in a one-vehicle accident on Aug. 4, when her vehicle went off Catholic Church Road in Clear Spring and rolled over several times before coming to rest 20 feet off the roadway. She was trapped in her vehicle for about 11 hours before help came. She was airlifted from the scene to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

“I’m so happy to get her back home,” Weller said.

Weller said doctors at William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center at Kernan Hospital in Baltimore, where Malory has been since Sept. 4, said Malory is doing too well to be at their facility, and it’s time for her to go home and continue with outpatient therapy near her home.

Malory will return for a checkup at R Adams Cowley on Sept. 18 and then have ongoing checkups, Weller said.

Weller said when she told her daughter that she was going home, Malory got tears in her eyes and said, “That’s awesome!”

One of the things she wants to do when she comes home is thank the man who found her — Ed Mills, one of Malory’s father’s co-workers.

Malory doesn’t remember the accident.

“I wish she would never remember,” her mother said, adding that remembering is probably inevitable.

“Her prognosis was grim. They really didn’t give us a whole lot of hope to start with,” Weller said.

As a result of the accident, Malory suffered a frontal brain injury consisting of swelling and bleeding of the brain. She fractured her forehead, cheekbones and both jaws. Her right eye orbit is broken in two places.

Everything is lined up so, at this time, doctors don’t plan to do any surgeries on her face. They plan to let everything heal on its own, Weller said.

Malory also suffered some extensive cuts in her forehead and left arm, which required numerous stitches, Weller said.

“I was scared. I was upset. Everything was going through my mind. I didn’t know what was going to happen to my baby girl,” Weller said, remembering the first day at the shock trauma center.

But, she said that changed when a preacher came to Malory’s bedside and prayed.

“As he was praying, I could feel all the worry, anxiety, fear and everything just leave my body and this peaceful calmness came over me. And the Lord actually spoke to me and said, ‘Your daughter will be fine. She will go home with you.’ From there, I just felt I had to be strong for her,” Weller said.

Since then, Weller and her husband, Ron “Whitey” McIntyre, have traveled to Baltimore every day and spend weekends there. Malory’s father, Steve Weller of Little Cove, Pa., makes the trip once a week and on weekends, Weller said.

Tressa Weller said Malory’s new boyfriend, Tanner Funk of Mercersburg, Pa., has stood by her daughter’s side, which has made a big difference.

Malory was visiting her father for the weekend. She left on a Friday night and on Saturday night, she went to Mercersburg to visit friends, her mother said.

When her father woke up on the morning of Aug. 5 and Malory wasn’t home, he called her cellphone. When she didn’t answer, he called Malory’s friend, who said Malory left Saturday night between 9 and 9:30 p.m., according to Weller.

Malory’s brother, Tyler, got in his vehicle and headed to Mercersburg to look for her.

At about 8:45 a.m. Aug. 5, Mills saw his co-worker Steve Weller’s vehicle off the road. Mills tried to contact Weller, but Mills didn’t have cellphone service, according to Tressa Weller.

Mills got out of his vehicle and walked into the woods and found Malory, who was driving her father’s vehicle the night before, Malory’s mother said.

Since Mills had no cellphone reception, he drove half a mile to a neighbor’s house and the neighbor called 911.

Mills, the neighbor who called 911 and Tyler, who had arrived on the scene, kept Malory calm.

“She was semiconscious. Her eyes were swollen shut and her face was covered in blood,” Tressa Weller said. “They had to cut her out of the car.”

Tressa Weller said that based on the location of the accident near several deer paths and black marks on the road, it appears that Malory swerved to miss a deer.

Before coming to rest upright, the vehicle hit several trees and rolled over several times before landing in the woods 20 feet from the roadway.

She’s endured a lot in just a month, Weller said.

She left the R Adams Cowley in Baltimore on Aug. 10 to undergo rehabilitation at Health South in York, Pa., but began suffering excruciating headaches.

According to Weller, doctors found that the headaches were caused by leaking spinal fluid, air pockets and infections in her head and face, and she was transported back to the shock trauma center. She had surgeries to insert drains to temporarily correct the problem until a shunt was implanted on Sept. 2.

At this time, the shunt is working well and the headaches are gone, Weller said.

Christine Reiber, assistant principal for grades nine and 12 at Greencastle-Antrim High School, has known Malory since she was a ninth-grader .

She is pleasantly surprised that Malory is making such a speedy recovery.

“She is a determined young lady and that’s how I would have described her as a freshman,” Reiber said.

While Tressa is hoping Malory returns for the second semester, which begins Jan. 22, Reiber is looking beyond that.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her walk across the stage and get her diploma,” Reiber said.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family as she comes home and starts this journey of getting herself better. We will welcome her with open arms,” Reiber said.

Prayers and community support, coupled with Malory’s youth and tenacity, keep her pressing forward, Malory’s mother said.

“Continue with the prayers. We still have some hills to climb,” Weller said. “The (community) support has been so unbelievable.”

The community has held food fundraisers and raffles, and sold bracelets to help offset the cost of Malory’s medical expenses, Weller said.

Brother’s Pizza, Mikie’s Ice Cream and Equity Commerce in Greencastle hosted fundraisers to help with medical expenses.

Anyone interested in making a donation can visit any Susquehanna Bank branch and ask about the Malory Morgan Marie Weller medical fund.

For updates on Malory, check out the Prayer for Malory Weller page on Facebook.

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