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WJBD - Local News - Fundraiser for Injured Salem Grad Raises Over $11k

Fundraiser for Injured Salem Grad Raises Over $11k

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A weekend fund raiser for a Salem resident recovering from a serious vehicle accident in Costa Rica raised over $11,500.  An estimated 300 people attended the dinner and fund raising silent auction to assist Hanna Mercer and her family with on-going medical expenses.  

"I think it's great to see everybody...some people I haven't seen since I was little" said Mercer.

Mercer had just arrived in Costa Rica in late November to begin her job teaching English to both adults and young people.  She wants to go back as soon as she recovers from her injuries.

"I still want to teach--it doesn't matter. It could have happened anywhere" Mercer said.

Mercer admits it was scary being in a wreck so far away from home.  She was a passenger in a car returning from an outing when the crash occurred on December 22nd.  Mercer was trapped in the vehicle until emergency responders broke out all windows and used the jaws of life to get her out.  She sustained three bad breaks to one of her legs and a broken collarbone and has undergone multiple surgeries first in Costa Rica and then at Barnes Hospital after being returned to the United States by medical airplane.  Mercer is now beginning the process of being able to walk again.

"I've been using my right leg to get around [with the help of] my walker, and I'm starting to put a bit of weight on my other leg" said Mercer.

Mercer is a 2009 graduate of Salem High School and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University last May.   Proceeds from the fund raiser held at the Grace United Methodist Church will be used to help Hanna and her family with ongoing medical expenses.  

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