The community is rallying behind the family of Megan Webb, a Belleville West sophomore seriously injured in a car crash.
"The family is full of gratitude for all the well wishes and all the prayers," said Mary Kane of Wentzville, Mo., a longtime family friend. "They really feel like it's really working. They are overwhelmed with how much support they are getting."
Megan was in serious condition Friday at St. Louis Children's Hospital, according to a hospital spokesman. Her condition is a slight improvement from her previous condition of critical.
Stephen Zehner, who was Megan's friend and a Belleville West High School senior, was killed in the Jan. 26 crash. Zehner, 18, was the driver. Megan was the only passenger. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.
Kane is keeping friends, classmates and community members up-to-date on Megan's condition through the website CaringBridge.org.
Megan suffered brain trauma and underwent surgery to relieve pressure Saturday. She also has a hairline fracture to her pelvis, broken ribs, and bruises on her spleen, kidney and lungs, Kane said.
Results from a Friday morning MRI meant to determine injuries to the brain were not available Friday afternoon, Kane said.
"It's going to be a long journey, regardless of what an MRI reveals," Kane said. "They are taking her off sedation so she can start waking up a little."
Megan has been medically sedated since the crash and remained on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.
More than 11,000 people have visited Megan's website since it was launched. Kane posted 14 entries on her condition; an online guest book displayed 200 messages of support.
Megan's family was "doing really well," considering the circumstances, Kane said.
A Facebook page titled "Go Megan Go," had more than 2,600 likes.
Fundraising activities were in the works to help the Zehner family with funeral expenses and to help the Webb family with medical expenses.
A benefit for both families is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville. The cost is $10 per person and will include three games of bowling and shoe rental. Kane said a golf fundraiser also is planned for March.
Megan's mother, Tracy Webb, recently got a job after being unemployed but has not worked since the crash. Megan's father, Bill Webb, is on disability, Kane said.
Kane met Tracy Webb at the Belleville Public Library when their children were little and have been friends the last 13 years.
Both Megan and her older sister Marley, a senior, play on the varsity volleyball team at Belleville West.
Kane described Megan as a "little firecracker" and a "ball of energy."
"She's a beautiful kid," Kane said. "I think she's going to find out even more about herself through this experience. She's going to surprise people with what her spirit is really made of."
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.