ROANOKE (WSLS) - For siblings 17-year-old Connor and 15 year-old drew McCauley, swimming has been a lifelong passion that for now must be put on hold.
While traveling home from swim practice in Christiansburg on June 7th, the two teens survived a nearly fatal car crash when the two were hit head on by a wrong way driver on Interstate 81.
both were rushed to the hospital. Connor was able to turn the car just enough to save his sister, taking the steering wheel to his chest. He was rushed into open heart surgery to repair a torn aorta. Mark Johnson, CEO of YMCA of the Roanoke Valley said it was news that jolted the entire swim team and community.
"I think everybody when they hear something like this you immediately try to put yourself in the shoes especially of the parents and everybody involved. You’re just praying that everybody will be okay."
And there have been a lot of people praying. Johnson says the entire sea lion team has been behind their two team mates, from hospital visits, encouraging signs to even pitching in on costly medical expenses.
"The YMCA Sea Lions have raised almost six hundred dollars for their fellow team mates. Now they are opening up the fund raiser to the public, hoping that the community will do the same," Johnson said.
The YMCA has set up an online donation site for the McCauley's, detailing their story and how you can help.
The community has left encouraging messages, and have donated nearly one thousand dollars to ease the burden of two very large medical bills.
"You just immediately feel like you want to support the family in any way you can. The Roanoke community is just that type of community," Johnson said.
Their goal is to raise ten thousand dollars and send love and support to help these two teens return to the water.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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