Community helps young North Shore burn victim - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Community helps young North Shore burn victim

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Members of the Franco Fins Swim Team with a banner of best wishes for Will Ragan Members of the Franco Fins Swim Team with a banner of best wishes for Will Ragan
File photo of Will Ragan (first on the left) with swimming friends File photo of Will Ragan (first on the left) with swimming friends

Mandeville, La. - 10-year-old Gabe Brator is lost without his best friend, Will Ragan, by his side.

The two spent nearly every day together as members of the Franco Fins Swim Team. Ragan, though, is now in a Shreveport burn unit after a terrible accident.

"He's got second- and third-degree burns and some of it got into his lungs. The thing I'm worried about is infection and that could kill him. That's the last thing I need," says Gabe Brator.

Back on June 17, Ragan and another child were hurt at the St. Scholastica Science Camp in Covington. Instructors were demonstrating an experiment that turns sugar to carbon using baking soda and alcohol. Something went horribly wrong, though, and a flash fire occurred.

"I just couldn't believe that he got burned up like that. The swim team and parents immediately rallied behind him to help," says Robby Fritscher, Ragan's swim coach, who visited him in the hospital.

The swim team organized a car wash to raise money for Ragan. The money raised will help with expenses for his parents who are now staying in Shreveport to be with their son and medical expenses.

The car wash will start at 10 Saturday morning at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville.

Some positive news from Ragan's family Friday night: his mother says he has been taken off a ventilator and is no longer in critical condition, though he'll still have a long road to a full recovery.

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