In a crisis, the family of John Harrison Doucet has learned just how much he and they mean to the community.
John Harrison, 20, is still fighting for his life at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, after being shocked Sunday by an overhead power line outside the Gulfport Yacht Club. He remains in critical but stable condition, his mother, Ruthie McMullen, told the Sun Herald on Friday.
“I am amazed by the outpouring of support from the community,” she said. “We really appreciate it.” Businesses are donating goods and services to raise money for medical expenses, a GoFundMe account has exceeded its goal of $150,000 and thousands are praying for John Harrison’s recovery.
John Harrison is surrounded by his family, including parents, stepparents and his brothers. His brothers and stepfather arrived Friday on an Angel Flight provided through the burn center, the nation’s largest.
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“This is a wonderful hospital,” McMullen said. “I can’t tell you how wonderful they are.”
The family is very close, she said. They are going to see John Harrison through this ordeal.
He had taken his mother and her sisters for a Sunday afternoon sail before the accident. His brothers were having match races in smaller boats.
On Sunday evening, John Harrison was parking the yacht club’s sailboat when the back stay, a cable that supports the mast, came in contact with an overhead power line. John Harrison was gripping the boat trailer when he was shocked.
Firefighters and paramedics found him with third- and fourth-degree burns over at least 75 percent of his body. He was flown to a Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Jackson, where both his legs had to be amputated. Once stablized, he was moved to the Georgia center.
The Doucets are a well-known family in and around Gulfport. Neill McInnis of Gulfport has known John Harrison since he was born.
“He’s just a good kid — one of the best,” said McInnis, a childhood friend of John Harrison’s parents.
McInnis posted a tribute to John Harrison on Facebook. He said John Harrison is much like George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” His family has found out only after a tragic situation just how much the young man means to people.
McInnis wrote, in part, “What is most amazing about the outpouring of love and support is that it is not limited to one age group, social set or Gulfport alone, it covers a broad array of people whom John Harrison has touched. A true testament to the goodness in John Harrison and proof that what we do in life, echoes in eternity.”