Rick Ryan: Former Beckley sportswriter recovering from accident

Courtesy photo
Dave Morrison relaxes for a few moments earlier this week during his first day back at home.

Dave Morrison has spent a lifetime helping high school athletes around West Virginia get a little more publicity for their accomplishments.

Now, he needs an assist from others.

Morrison, a longtime state sportswriter, was involved in a harrowing April 7 accident on Interstate 64 near Sandstone Mountain in Summers County, colliding with a tractor-trailer in foggy, snowy conditions. The accident left him with four broken ribs, a cracked sternum, collapsed lung and, most severely, crushed his right ankle.

The other injuries have healed, but the ankle remains a big problem. He’s undergone eight surgeries since the accident and his recovery was complicated by a MRSA infection, which necessitated one grueling 10-hour surgery, followed by 21 days of having his leg in traction. When the traction was over, his right knee was found to be locked up and he still has only 75 percent range of motion there.

Morrison, 54, spent a week at home in June between extended stays at Raleigh General in Beckley and CAMC General in Charleston, but only returned home full-time on Wednesday. He’s still using a walker to get around.

It’s been a long, painful road for Morrison and his wife, Angie, and it isn’t made any easier by the fact he lost his job because of his injuries, and his continued recovery makes finding future employment problematic.

“It’s going to be tough,’’ Angie said, “because he’s not very mobile right now.

“He’s got an external fixator on his ankle because the bones had shattered and they had to piece them back together with screws and bolts, and the fixator has to keep everything aligned. It goes all the way up under his knee. It looks like a water pipe up and down his leg.’’

Morrison is well known throughout the state, most prominently as the former sports editor at the Register-Herald in Beckley for 16 years. He later worked at the Martinsburg Journal and Wheeling Intelligencer and for local radio in Beckley.

I’ve known Dave through just about all of his stops, especially during his time with the Register-Herald. I always admired the way he covered their “flagship’’ team, if you will — Woodrow Wilson boys basketball, the 16-time state champion and pride of Beckley.

He always managed to keep a respectful distance when writing and talking about the Flying Eagles and wasn’t fawning all over them as some prep writers might do. However, if somebody took a shot at Woodrow basketball — especially an unwarranted shot — Dave was the first one to spring to the Eagles’ defense.

It bothers me to hear about Dave’s current condition because he’s always been so gung-ho, among the first sportswriters in the state to volunteer to help when something needed to get done — someone to write an all-state story or someone to make a presentation for an athlete or coach at the annual Victory Awards Dinner.

Now he needs our help.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to secure donations to help pay some of Morrison’s many hospital bills, one of which totaled $160,000. He and Angie have cut off their television and Internet, deeming them luxuries in these tough times.

So if Dave has ever touched your life, written something that made you think, or if you’re just a good person, do yourself and him a favor. Click on this link — www.gofundme.com/super-daves-miracle-to-walk-again — or if you’re reading the paper, visit gofundme.com and search for “Super Dave Morrison,’’ his online nickname, and help out.

Dave’s a good guy and deserves better than he’s gotten.

Contact Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.

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