By Alyssa Schnugg
With the second round of auditions for American Idol coming up in two weeks, Oxford teen Erica McCoy was a step closer in having her dreams of becoming a professional singer become a reality.
Having passed the first round of auctions, the singer/guitar player was set to audition again on Aug. 26.
However, the 17-year-old is now fighting for her life while her family fights to get her the best therapeutic help possible.
On Aug. 14, Erica and her boyfriend, Alex Hanks, were in a wreck and Erica was thrown 100 feet from the vehicle. Hanks suffered moderate injuries but is expected to fully recover.
Erica’s spleen was lacerated, and she fractured her left shoulder and several vertebrae in her neck and spine.
“She crushed the C-5 and C-6 (vertebrae) which caused her to be paralyzed from her diaphragm down,” her mother, Stacie Marie McCoy told Hottytoddy.com. “She may never walk, talk, or have use of her hands again.”
Erica has had two surgeries to repair her neck and she has been on a ventilator.
“They are trying to wean her off the ventilator now,” McCoy said. “She is having to learn to swallow again.”
She is going through speech therapy to try get her talking again.
Once she is able to completely breathe on her own, she will go to ICU step-down for a time, and then she will begin the long road of physical therapy in hopes of gaining some mobility.
Her family attempted to get Erica into the Shepherd Center – often hailed as one of the best physical therapy centers in the country.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions.
However, the McCoy family was told their medical insurance does not cover treatment at Shepherd Center.
“She is devastated, as are we,” McCoy said. “We really want to try and get her to the best place possible for rehab, in hopes that she can regain some function.”
There is a Venmo account – @EricaMcCoyFund17, a GoFundMe account, “Erica’s Rehab Fund,” and T-shirts are being made and sold to help support the McCoy family’s effort to get Erica into the Shepherd Center. The GoFundMe has raised $1,880 as of Monday morning.
“We are hoping to have a fundraiser in the next month or so,” McCoy said. “We do not ask for donations lightly, but our pride has to take a back seat to what is best for Erica. But most of all she needs prayers, as well as her family.”