Moriah's Story

Moriah McMurty

Moriah is the daughter of our fellow alumn Tony McMurtry-RHS 1983.  Moriah is a senior at the University of Tennessee in Knowxville.  Moriah's story is provided below by her father Tony-RHS 1983:

Dec. 6th, Moriah was admitted to ICU Centennial Hospital in Nashville with what they believed to be flu/mono like symptoms.  After spending appx 7 nights in the ICU they determined that Moriah somehow contracted a disease that attacked her spinal cord... as of today they really don't know the exact cause but she was diagnosed with meningitis (viral)- which caused pressure on her spinal and a spinal stroke.  She is now considered a T-4 Asia A patient, meaning no feeling or movement below the T-4 vertebrae, which is appx below her chest.  The medical term is Transverse Myelitis.

After Centennial said they couldn't help her anymore and that she would remain paralyzed, they sent us to The Shepherds Center Rehab in Atlanta via ambulance where she stayed for appx 1 month doing physical and occupational therapy but was still very sick and not getting any better physically.

A friend of ours contacted Dr. Carlos Pardo, director of the Transverse Myelitis Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and he advised us to get there as soon as possible.  Insurance got in the way but thru our Tennessee Governor and some congress people, insurance finally approved the move.

Once at Johns Hopkins Hospital they started administering steroids/anti virals and did many tests/MRI/IVIG/Xrays.  These doctors still don't understand how thi happened but they believe that she would get the best rehab/recovery at their center called Kennedy Krieger where she remains today and will be there until March 6th.

Today she is still paralyzed but is learning everyday different ways to live without her legs even though she says she will walk again and we believe that to be true as we believe God has great plans for her future whether she is in a wheelchair or walking.

Above you see pictures of Moriah with some guys who play hockey for the NHL Nashville Predators and Nick Kosivich with Dancing with the Stars as they all have rallied for us from the very beginning and still do now.

Funny note: One of the pictures you see is of NHL player Mike Fisher who is actually married to the singer, Carrie Underwood.  I introduced Moriah to Mike when he cam to the hospital and the first word she said (on pain meds) was "Where's Carrie?"  He said "just call me Mr. Underwood". LOL

We appreciate your concern and once Moriah is better we will bring her to Parke County as she loves the Covered Bridge Festival. 

Tony McMurtry

We have established this page with this heart breaking story to make you aware that Moriah is in need of a Service Dog.  All dogs cannot do all things, but with proper dog selection and proper training, service dogs can complete many tasks that improve the quality of life for many physically and psychologically disabled individuals.  The cost of a service dog is $8,000 to $12,000 depending on Moriah's needs evaluation.

If you are not aware of the functions of Service Dogs, please click the picture above.  If you have a problem with that link, key the following address into your web browser:

For this purpose, a donation fund has been established at First Financial Bank in Terre Haute.

Please make your donations payable to: Moriah McMurtry Service Dog Fund

Please forward your donations to:

First Financial Bank

P.O. Box 2122

Terre Haute, Indiana 47802

Thank you for your consideration and donations to support our fellow alumni.


Max Higgs

View Moriah's Homecoming Video Here

October 21, 2013 Update

Moriah Gets Jet!

Thank you to all alumni that contributed to the Moriah McMurtry Fund for her new service dog "Jet"!  Tony advised us today that Moriah has received Jet.  Please find below Tony's email to us and pics of Moriah and Jet:

From: Tony McMurtry []
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2013 3:48 PM
Subject: Moriah get her Service Dog -Jet 

Just a note of Thanks  to everyone for all you have done for Moriah to get her service dog Jet .   Moriah will finish up her training with Jet next weekend and will graduate and finally Jet will be with her forever now. 

Thank you all from all of our family for helping with your hard work and donations to help make this possible.

Enclosed are pictures of Moriah and Jet together along with Moriah standing beside me with a body brace .

Sincerely with much thanks.

Moriah McMurtry
Tony and Lori McMurtry
Wayne and Charlea McMurtry
Randy and Tamra Milner
Troy and Julie McMurtry