Nov 10, 2014 11:08 PM
NEWBURYPORT, Mass. - A fundraiser to help fund the medical bills of a New Hampshire teen suspected of having Enterovirus D68 was held at Michael's Harborside Restaurant in Newburyport Monday evening.
Danny Dugan, 13, of Seabrook, told his mother he "couldn't use" his legs in early October. This, after weeks of being sick with flu-like symptoms. Then, he began to experience the paralysis.
"The whole thing is surreal. You wake up one morning and your 13-year-old son is unable to walk, so how can you wrap your head around it? The whole situation is just surreal," said his stepmother Kate Knowles, while embracing guests walking into the fundraiser party.
The funds will be used to help with expected high medical bills, and partial renovation of the Dugan's home so that Danny can safely return home with appropriate resources on-site.
The restaurant also donated some of it's food profits to the cause.
Danny's father, Patrick (known locally as "Pat") Dugan, said the community support has amazed him throughout this entire ordeal.
"Prayers, donations, thoughts, phone calls, letters - it's just unbelievable and it says a lot for this area and it says a lot for New England," Pat Dugan said.
In addition to the stress of the medical illness, Danny also lost his biological mother several weeks ago.
Still, his father said he remains strong - and hopeful.
"We're hoping that every week is better than the last week, and he's looking forward to having his legs back - he wants to ride his bike, he wants to go fishing - all these things he wants," Pat Dugan said. "And I think he's got the right attitude."
The Dugan's have setup an account for Danny's benefit. Funds can be mailed to the address below, or click here:
The Dan Dugan Fund
C/O Pat's Towing Co.
P.O. Box 2638
Seabrook, N.H. 03874
Multimedia Journalist Tyler Dumont can be reached via email at tdumont@NH1.com.
Follow him on Twitter @NH1_Tyler.
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