An addition to an Egan home will help Morgan Ten Eyck live and continue needed therapy with her family nearby.
Family and friends started building the space last weekend, Morgan’s Miracle project, that will be the 20-year-old’s bedroom, handicapped-accessible bathroom and therapy room now that she is home after a vehicle accident that was the result of a high-speed chase last summer. Ten Eyck was a passenger in a pickup truck that was pursued by law enforcement on June 18 and suffered a brain injury in the Moody County crash that left two others also with life-threatening injuries.
Initially, she was in a coma after being ejected. She returned home Feb. 12 to Egan from Madonna Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln, Neb. She continues to receive physical, occupational and speech therapies, and her family takes her to Sioux Falls for two hours of therapy a day.
“This girl is a fighter,” her mother, Michelle Ten Eyck, said.
Her oldest daughter continues to make progress and understands well. Morgan is working on relearning everything, communicates through her expressions and is able to laugh appropriately with her family, her mother said.
“Unfortunately, she’s trapped in a body that doesn’t allow her to speak yet,” she said.
It’s good that everyone is back under one roof, Michelle said. Morgan’s older brother, Adam, doesn’t live with them, but her brother, Brendan, a high school senior; and triplets Hanna, Karlie and Ethan, who are in the seventh grade, are still living at home.
Tom Ten Eyck, Morgan's dad, coordinated the weekend crew that included Morgan’s grandparents, other family members and friends.
Roger Merges, Colman, helped with construction, scooped ice out of the way and carried rafters. “It’s just nice to help people out in need,” he said.
Neighbor Jane DeLay saw wood piled outside of the Ten Eyck home recently and helped with volunteers and food for the first weekend of construction. Once the addition is enclosed, work can begin inside.
Tom, a science teacher in Chamberlain, has taken a leave of absence from his job, and his wife gave up her job working at the school in Pipestone to care for her daughter and the family.
Morgan graduated from Flandreau High School in 2016 and attended nursing school for one year at Minnesota West Community College in Pipestone.
Michelle said the family’s faith helps them through the life-changing event and gives them hope.
“We just hope that she can walk and talk again and for her to find her new normal,” she said. “We have a lot of faith that she will find her way.”