Local News

Student Still Living With Fran Recovery

Posted October 1, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A year ago Hurricane Fran ripped through the Triangle causing extensive damage to homes and property. The massive storm touched virtually everyone in the area, some more than others. WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrightfound one college student who is beginning a lifetime of recovery from Fran's fury.

Hurricane Fran uprooted trees, destroyed homes, and devastated Martin Dixon's life. The 24-year-old history major at St. Augustine's College is paralyzed after being struck by a falling tree branch as he walked across campus during the storm.

Molu Mallory is a friend of Martin's. He says the accident was frightening.

Martin has been through a year of therapy. He says he's glad to be back at school and is determined to achieve his goal of graduating. Gilbert Knowles, Dean of students at St. Augustine says the college is deeply committed to helping Martin achieve his goals.

The things Martin's father Leon has shown him is faith, hope and love.

Martin's father left his wife and home in Jamaica to provide transportation for his son. Dixon Martin wants a van to help him get around on his own but the Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving him a motorized wheelchair instead, which means his father will have to stay here.

Mallory says Martin is getting a lot of help, but that he is also inspiring those who know him.

Martin Dixon is winning against the odds and several fraternities and sororities are working along with the school to raise $10,000 to buy a van for Martin.