By Pat Jenkins
Remodeling of their home is underway as community members continue to rally around an Eatonville-area family that was devastated by a New Year’s Day traffic accident.
Seven-year-old McKenzie Harris was left a quadriplegic as a result of the crash. She’s been hospitalized ever since in Seattle. Her parents, Douglas and Sara Harris, also suffered serious injuries and have been undergoing operations and therapy.
They and 3-year-old Wyatt, the fourth member of the family, are hoping to return to their home soon. To get it ready for them, volunteers are making it wheelchair-accessible for McKenzie. Chris Menard, a general contractor, has been joined by others in work that eventually will produce an elevator and a walk-in shower, among other improvements. Most of the work, equipment and supplies are being donated, according to project organizers.
Richelle Heacock, an Ashford-area woman who has been paralyzed since a traffic accident in 2010, has been coordinating the project. Her family’s home was remodeled to accommodate her in a similar community effort. She and her mother, Peg Heacock, are advising the Harrises on how their lives at home will be different.
Meanwhile, fund-raisers to help the Harris family with medical bills and other expenses are continuing. Coming up this Saturday is a pasta dinner, raffle and auctions at JR’s Whistle Stop. Events at the Spanaway-area restaurant will begin at 5 p.m.
The restaurant, located at 22225 Mountain Hwy. E., is donating the food.
Also on Saturday, a spaghetti feed and auction, hosted by Girl Scouts Troop 43886, are planned from 5 to 8 p.m. at Frontier Middle School in Graham.
Sales of “Team McKenzie” bracelets and t-shirts also are supporting the Harrises. Two Eatonville businesses – PostNet and Kirk’s Pharmacy – are among the sale outlets.
Donations for the family can be made online at youcaring.com/theharrisfamily and to the Harris Family Fund at Key Bank. Donations and well-wishes can also be mailed to Letters to McKenzie, 127 Mashell Ave. N., PMB 51, Eatonville, WA 98328.
The crash Jan. 1 occurred on State Route 7 when a vehicle driven by Glenn Fitting of Eatonville crossed the centerline and struck the pickup truck that Sara Harris was driving. Fitting died in the collision.