Greencastle teen recovering after 11 hours in wrecked vehicle

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Malory Weller recovering from injuries she suffered in an Aug. 4 accident. She was trapped in her vehicle for 11 hours before being discovered.

Greencastle teen Malory Weller is still at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, being treated for serious injuries received in a one-vehicle accident on Aug. 4. Her condition has been up and down, but her mother Tressa Weller said, "She's lucky to be alive. She will come home."

Malory, 17, had been visiting friends in Mercersburg and was on her way to her father's home in Little Cove Saturday night. When Steve Weller woke Sunday morning, she wasn't there. He didn't get an answer on her cell phone and found out she had not stayed ovenight with her pals. He went looking, as did their son Tyler. A man from the area spotted the S-10 Chevy Blazer first, about 20 feet off Catholic Church Road down a hill. Because of spotty reception, he had to go to a neighbor's house to call 911.

"We're positive she swerved to miss a deer," said Tressa Weller, Greencastle. "It's just a little cowpath road and black tire marks are visible. There was no room to correct."

Tyler helped calm Malory, who was semi-conscious after having been trapped for 11 hours. He assisted the medics by giving her oxygen as crews worked 45 minutes to extricate her. The vehicle had sheared off a six foot tree, rolled on its side, hit another tree and landed upright in the woods. A waiting helicopter lifelined her to the hospital.

"The report was grave," said Weller, who with her husband Ron McIntyre, has been back and forth to the hospital every day. "The preacher came and prayed for her. A huge weight was lifted off me. I felt calm and peace. A voice told me, 'Your daughter will be fine. She'll go home.'"

Her condition was critical. Malory had swelling and bleeding in the brain, gouges on her forehead and left arm, fractures in both checks and jaws and right eye orbit. Doctors put in a brain probe and hooked her up to a ventilator amd feeding tube. Her swollen eyes were not fully open until Aug. 13. By Thursday after the accident her condition was downgraded and she moved out of the intensive care unit to neurotrauma. The next day she was transported to HealthSouth Rehabilitation in York. That's when things took a bad turn.

"She began physical therapy but excruciating headaches started," Weller said. They continued on and off for days, but got progressively worse. "She was screaming in pain."

The mother demanded a CAT scan. It showed air pockets in Malory's face and brain, spinal fluid leaking from her nose, and an infection. The physicians said the symptoms occurred later than usual because the swelling took so long to go down. That allowed the fractures to open.

"She was doing so good before this," said Weller.

A second CAT scan back in Baltimore revealed more serious results, so a drain was inserted into her brain, and Malory was back on a ventilator. This past Monday a spinal test was conducted to find the source of the leaks. Major surgery to plug them could be necessary.

"Malory has long, beautiful blonde hair, and they had to cut it off," Weller said. "She's having a hard time dealing with that."

After the headaches are treated successfully, she will return to rehab, required of head trauma patients.

"She's a fighter," Weller said. "The angels were with her. God had a hand in this."

Community rallies

Weller has been overwhelmed by the support of the community. The Facebook page Prayer for Malory Weller reports on her progress and fundraising activities. Messages for Malory and her family can be posted.

Brother's Pizza is hosting a benefit from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. Jamie Kershner is giving proceeds from a Thirty One sales event the month of September. Other fundraisers are underway or in the planning stage. Donations for medical expenses are also accepted at giveforward.com

Malory is a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School and works at MercerView Farm. She plays fastpitch softball on a traveling tournament team.