Teen burned in explosion returns to lacrosse field

Teen burned in explosion returns to lacrosse field

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on March 15, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 15 at 3:11 PM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- One year ago, a South Carolina teen was just learning to walk again.

This weekend, Connor McKemey was back on the lacrosse field and getting the attention of a man who knows exactly how he feels.

McKemey is a standout on his Fort Mill lacrosse team. He's a teenager who, at one point, doctors weren't sure would survive.

"I think I'm getting back to where I was before," McKemey said.

McKemey suffered burns to 85 percent of his body when an outdoor fireplace exploded in December 2008.

"Once I heard that when he came out of his coma he said to his mom, 'Hey, can I try my lacrosse stick?' That just -- the wheels started turning again," said Matty Wagner.

If anyone understands McKemey's struggle, it's Wagner. He became a high school and college lacrosse standout after losing four fingers on his left hand.

Now, the California native travels the country on his own time, offering support to kids like McKemey.

"It really inspires me to share my story and help kids are who going through a tough time," McKemey said.

"That's why I'm out here -- to just let him continue loving the game," Wagner said.

Wagner talked to McKemey about specialized equipment and gave him some advice on the field.

"You talk to the kid and you just know he's got it laid out. He's doing fine," Wagner said. "He's leading his team in goals right now. I don't need to be here. It's just good to let him know that there's guys like him that are doing it and he's not alone."

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