Local News

Community raises money for man paralyzed in motorcycle wreck

Posted May 19, 2013 4:32 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2013 8:27 p.m. EDT

— The Knightdale community came together Sunday to raise money for a man severely injured in a motorcycle wreck last month.

Bruce Basil Hemmingway, 53, is adjusting to life as a quadriplegic, but he requires 24/7 care.

"I can't move my arms. I can't feed myself," he said. "I was the breadwinner. That's shut down."

Hemmingway could be released from WakeMed as early as next month, but that poses a problem. The doorways are too narrow for his wheelchair, the bedroom is way too small. 

"There has to be some pretty good remodeling going on," said his wife, Vicki Hemmingway.

Sunday's fundraiser aimed to pay for Bruce Hemmingway's mounting hospital bills, home healthcare and a handicap accessible van.

Builder Mike Miller has also been assembling donated materials and volunteer labor for much needed renovations at the Hemmingways' home. He plans to extend the couple's bedroom by 36 feet, build a handicap accessible bathroom and install a wheelchair lift.

The Hemmingways said they were amazed by the community's generosity.

"There's not enough words to say to any of them how much we appreciate everything they do for us," Vicki Hemmingway said.

On April 12, Bruce Hemmingway and friend Timothy Day Croom were riding their motorcycles on Hammond Road in Raleigh when a minivan turned into their path at the Tryon Road intersection, troopers said. 

"(The impact) threw me over the handlebars, and I landed on my back," Bruce Hemmingway said.

The minivan driver, Marilyn Alethea Lloyd, was cited for failing to yield the right of way. Croom was injured as well, but Bruce Hemmingway said his friend is expected to make a full recovery.

The Lynyrd Skynyrd song that was playing at the time of the collision – "Gimme Three Steps" – is helping to inspire Bruce Hemmingway in his recovery.

"I've done one step; I came out of ICU. Second step is here in rehab. My third step is making it home," he said. 

But three steps isn't enough for Bruce Hemmingway; he's striving for four.

"It's me walking again, and I believe the Lord is going to let me walk," he said. 

Contributions can be made to the Bruce and Vicki Hemmingway Fund at any State Employees Credit Union location.