Community reaches out to Monroe woman set on fire

Family photo of Teresia Thompson
Family photo of Teresia Thompson
Her father John McCarty said, "It's hard to see one of your babies hurt. When they hurt, you hurt. And I've had a lot of hurt. The last five weeks, it's been rough."
Her father John McCarty said, "It's hard to see one of your babies hurt. When they hurt, you hurt. And I've had a lot of hurt. The last five weeks, it's been rough."
The couple's 13-year old son pulled his mother from this burning car.
The couple's 13-year old son pulled his mother from this burning car.

MONROE, Mich -- This all stems from a disturbing February morning. You may recall Teresia Thompson's estranged husband set her and himself on fire inside their car.

Thompson survived with burns to most of her body and is still in a coma at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center's burn unit. Without insurance though, paying her medical bills will take a miracle. Now Thompson and her family are getting help from people they had never met until Sunday.

A Monroe church held a fundraiser to benefit Teresia when her story touched their hearts.

News 11's Tanieya Lewis reported from the fundraiser.

One by one, they leave money at a small wooden table set up by the door. Plate by plate, these hungry guests are helping a stranger.

Church member Terry Siebath told News 11, "There are a lot of people I didn't recognize. Just before you guys got here, there was a lady that came here off the street and donated money."

At St. Vincent, doctors work to treat burns to 90 percent of her body including her face. The only way Thompson's father can look into her eyes is in pictures. Her father John McCarty said, "It's hard to see one of your babies hurt. When they hurt, you hurt. And I've had a lot of hurt. The last five weeks, it's been rough."

Angel Klingensmith talked about her sister Teresa. "Not only is she my big sister, she's my best friend, too. And I'm just tore up about it. I just can't believe it happened."

While Thompson remains in a coma, her father says the medical bills mount. "We have no idea. I haven't even seen a figure yet, but I imagine it's very high."

After hearing her tragic story, Emanuel Lutheran Church is using the proceeds it receives from it's annual spaghetti supper fundraiser to help pay for skin grafts that will begin Monday.

Lucille Palmiter organized the fundraiser. "We just want to help people who need help. So that's how we do it," she said.

To this grieving family, these strangers are a savior. John McCarty said, "I don't know them. I probably won't ever know who they are. But I'm grateful for them."

Helping out

Anyone interested in making donations can contribute to the Theresia  Thompson medical expense fund at any LaSalle bank.

Posted by LS