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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

Autos By Nelson - Click for Website
Rocky Mount teen recovering from ATV accident
Fundraiser for Abby Porter is set Saturday at FCHS
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Abby Porter of Rocky Mount, who sustained severe head trauma in a 4-wheeler crash in July, loves cows, kids and music. She writes country and Christian music and dreams of teaching the third grade.

Friday, November 2, 2012

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

A concert and fundraiser for Abby Porter of Rocky Mount, who sustained severe head injuries from a 4-wheeler accident in July, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Franklin County High School auditorium.

On the evening of July 28, 18-year-old Porter and several friends were riding 4-wheelers when she was thrown from the ATV.

"The most wonderful thing about Abby," said her father, Steve Porter, "is that she's very responsible and respectful. She would always call to tell us where she was, what she was doing and if she was going to come in late."

That evening, a trooper called Steve Porter and his wife, Lori, and told them their daughter had been in an accident and that they needed to get to the hospital.

Abby Porter was rushed to Roanoke Memorial Hospital's neuro-intensive care unit, where she received a craniectomy (removal of part of the skull) to relieve pressure and swelling from her brain.

Her parents waited all through the night for word on whether their daughter would survive her injuries.

"We felt the worst had happened," said Steve Porter. "We weren't being told anything. We were devastated at that time. We prayed all night."

After surgery, doctors informed her parents that if she survived, it could take up to six months for her to regain consciousness and probably a couple of years before she would even start rehabilitation.

"I can remember a friend of mine saying, 'Steve, that's the doctor's report. Let's wait on God's report'," her father said.

Abby remained in a coma for 13 days.

"Abby is such a true Christian girl," said her father. "She loves cows, kids and music. She plays the piano and guitar. She writes country and Christian music and dreams of teaching the third grade."

A 2012 graduate of Franklin County High School, Abby was packed and planning to leave for Lynchburg College to major in education.

"The college has been unbelievably supportive of Abby," Steve Porter said. "They have sent her hoodies, blankets, sweats, t-shirts and all kinds of other trinkets."

Abby was eventually transferred to Central Specialty Hospital in Lynchburg, part of Virginia Baptist Hospital, where she spiked a high fever and had to be packed in ice.

"She was unable to walk, talk and unable to use the entire left side of her body," he said.

After spending another 14 days in Lynchburg General Hospital, she finally gained enough strength to be transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga., where doctors specialize in spinal and brain injury.

"From day one at the Shepherd Center, they started working to get her eating on her own and doing things for herself," said Porter.

Currently, Abby has been released on an outpatient basis to stay with her parents in Atlanta in an efficiency apartment, where they will reside while she is a patient there. She receives daily physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Her mother stays with her, and her father comes home periodically to handle the business he owns in Boones Mill, Porter's Automotive Rebuilders.

"I haven't been able to run my business," Porter said. "My only employee, Billy Graham, has handled it all for me in my absence. Without him, I would have had to shut down."

So far, Abby is able to walk and eat with some assistance. She is relearning basic motor skills, such as feeding herself, brushing her teeth and exercising. Her parents are learning to care for her without the assistance of nurses. They help with her daily stretching and physical therapy and are hoping to have their daughter home by the holidays.

"Abby never complains about her therapy, said Porter. "She knows it makes her stronger. She wants to come home badly. She is terribly homesick."

On Nov. 28, the Porter family is hoping to learn when the doctors plan to replace the portion of Porter's skull that was removed.

Abby will continue with therapy for at least another year, her father said.

"Abby has received more cards and letters than we can count...hundreds of them," he said. "She loves to receive well-wishes and she reads every single one."

Cards and letters can be addressed to Abby Porter at

WFRC #302, C/O Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309.

Saturday's fundraiser, hosted by Trinity Baptist Church, will have entertainment by Gabe and Friends, with other scheduled performers including Mended Fences, Blended Faith, Circle Creek Revival, The Spiritualaires and Southern Breeze.

Admission is free but free-will donations for Abby will be accepted at the door.

Other monetary donations can be sent to Abby Porter Fund, C/O Steve Porter, P.O. Box 30, Boones Mill, VA 24065. Checks should be made out to "Abby Porter Fund." If a receipt is needed, write a note with the donation and one will be mailed to the donor.

 
Penny Hodges - Click for Website
A-Co Heating & Cooling - Click for Website
Harvester Center - Town of Rocky Mount - Click for Website
Angie McGhee-Quality Realty - Click for Website
Billy and Julie Kingery - Click for Website
Adam Lynch - Click for Website
Weichert - Click for Website
Alpine Photography Studios - Click for Website