08/05/09 — Accident victim, 18, focused on recovery

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Accident victim, 18, focused on recovery

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 5, 2009 1:46 PM

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Benefits are being planned around the county for 18-year-old Lisa Mozingo after she was hurt in an accident May 19.

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Seven Springs Fire Department members, from left, Jamie Rouse, Wayne Sutton, Chad Sutton and John Lynch pressure wash and clean chopping tables and mixing vats in preparation for Saturday's fundraiser for Lisa Mozingo, hurt in a May car accident.

Pam Mozingo has a new word in her vocabulary since the spring accident that paralyzed her daughter -- surreal.

When she first heard it bandied about after Sept. 11, she admits she didn't fully appreciate the concept. 

But on May 19, when her daughter, Lisa, was ejected from a vehicle after it overturned on the way home from a friend's house, that all changed.

Lisa was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where the prognosis was grim -- broken back, ribs, bruised lungs, crushed vertebrae. Surgery was done the next day and, except for a brief interlude when doctors released the 18-year-old to attend her graduation from Spring Creek High School, she has been in and out of the hospital.

She spent more than a month at the rehab center at Pitt. This past week she was hospitalized again with a kidney infection, and was released on Saturday.

"She's tired," Mrs. Mozingo said Monday.

Plus, initial progress has been short-lived.

"She has regressed," her mother said. "But we're working on that. We're trying real hard to get her in Shriner's or Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia's day program. ... We're just waiting to get the good news. We would take the fall and winter for her to get intensive rehab and for her to drive with hand controls."

Being accepted into the Atlanta program will require one of her parents to take an apartment to accompany Lisa for the ensuing months of treatment.

That means plans for her to attend Mount Olive College with her peers -- and twin brother John -- have been put on hold for the time being, Mrs. Mozingo said.

"We have decided to postpone going to Mount Olive this semester," she said. "Mount Olive College has been great working with her. They're going to hold her scholarships and everything she had because she had lots of scholarships. They're just going to hold until January.

"She has to go full-time to get (the scholarships). There was no way she could go full-time starting Aug. 19 because she's still in the process of rehab."

It's been a taxing time on the whole family, especially younger brother Tyler, 16, a student at Spring Creek.

But the outpouring of support from the community, Mrs. Mozingo says, has been "awesome."

"It's just been surreal," she said, laughing at the reference that now holds new meaning. "That word has come alive for me."

Fundraisers and efforts have sprung up from several sources, especially the family's church, Zion United Methodist Church. Proceeds raised go to help defray the medical expenses.

"Pray for Lisa" pink bracelets are being sold for $3 each, T-shirts for $20.

A benefit and auction is planned for Saturday starting at 11 a.m., with five locations taking part. Tickets for the barbecue chicken and pork sale are $6 each. Delivery is available by calling 1-252-560-9357 or 560-9358.

Plates can also be picked up at Albertson Fire Department, Garris Chapel Methodist Church, Mount Olive Pentecostal Holiness Church, Pricetown Fire Department and Seven Springs Baptist Church.

An auction will be held that night at the Pricetown Fire Department, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are being sold for a gas pig cooker/grill, with the drawing held during the auction. Items are still being accepted for the auction.

Donations can also be mailed to The Lisa Mozingo Fund, c/o Zion United Methodist Church, 1727 Zion Church Road, Mount Olive, N.C. 28365.

Cards and notes to Lisa can be sent to her home, 1637 Mark Herring Road, Seven Springs, N.C. 28578.

For more information on the auction, call Christy Shivar at 222-9810, Chad Shivar at 590-0395 or Mike Judy at 222-2083.