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Family needs help after wreck

POSTED: July 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Mike Riddle/

Maggie and Cynthia Alexander sit on the bed where Cynthia has been forced to spend much of her time since a May traffic accident injured her.

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LUDOWICI -- On May 6, as Cynthia Alexander and her daughter Maggie were driving home from Savannah their 2007 Saturn Outlook collided head-on with another vehicle on Highway 196.
In the devastating crash, Maggie suffered a broken sternum, broken collar bone, a collapsed right lung, torn intestines, and her bowel was severed.
The mother had a 6-inch cut on her right leg, her left wrist was broken, her back had a fracture, and she broke both ankles.
From the scene, Maggie was flown by LifeStar to Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, and her mother also was taken there.
Despite the tragic ordeal, both were conscious through out the accident and transport.
Since the accident, Maggie has had to have three inches of her bowel removed, and as a result of the insulating fat having to be removed from the intestines, has also had to have additional surgery.  Despite the complications and the extent of the internal injuries, the fifth-grader has high spirits, and should be back doing most of the things a child her age does, hopefully by September.
However, her mother, Cynthia's road to recovery appears to be more difficult.
Alexander still is bed-ridden and has yet to be able to apply any weight to her legs.  According to the doctors, she probably won't be able to walk again until at least the first of next year.
Gor Alexander, this is especially hard considering the active life she has had. The mother of three girls she is also president of Walker Middle School's PTO, a leader for the school's Garden Club, a substitute teacher, a full-time college student, a part-time employee of the Long County 4-H Club, and was the co-chairman for this year's Long County Relay for Life.
Being bed ridded hasn't just affected her. It also has had an effect on the entire family. She is unable to do anything around the home, and requires someone be with her, when she is at the house.
"This has really turned our lives upside down and put our lives on hold," Alexander said.
"The girls were not able to go to summer camp this year, because Michael (her husband) had to go back to work and I had to have help here at the house."
In addition this, the family has also begun to feel the financial strains, since Cynthia has not been able to work and from unexpected costs.
Some of the costs include having to modify their home so Alexander could be moved around. They've also added a concrete ramp from the home to the driveway. According to Michael, the bills from the accident are also coming due and the insurance companies haven't agreed to cover all of the costs.
Despite the difficulties, the family says that they have been blessed and the support from the community has been overwhelming.
"Everyone has been so good; our church, Mayor Warren and the folks at the city, the teachers, the middle school, the 4-H Club, some of the businesses, just the community as a whole, has helped us so much," Alexander said.
According to Michael, one business that was very helpful was the Saturn dealership in Marietta.
"They were so good, they helped us get a vehicle which we needed for Cynthia, and they discounted it so much, that if they hadn't of done that, we wouldn't have been able to get the one we needed," he said.
The accident has also given the family a new perspective on life and the important things in life.
"You can be the safest driver out there, and still it can happen to you," Alexander said.
"Kids need to know, that when they are driving they need to wear their seatbelts (which both Cynthia and Maggie were) and be on the defensive. You just never know when it can be you in that wreck," she said.
An account to assist the Alexanders with their finances has been set up at all Heritage Bank locations.
 

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