CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- The story of Taylor Morris, the Cedar Falls sailor recovering from injuries he suffered in an Afghan bomb blast, has gone viral.
A Venice, Calif.-based Internet site called theChive.com posted a story about Morris on Wednesday, along with online fundraising links set up by the family.
The site invited viewers to make contributions toward a cabin for Taylor and girlfriend Danielle Kelly. Morris told theChive.com co-owner John Resig that would be his dream home.
Just 12 hours after posting the story, $143,000 had been raised through online donations at TaylorMorris.org.
"I think it's amazing," Taylor's mother, Juli Morris, said this morning by phone from Washington, D.C., where Taylor is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Juli reported that Taylor continued to make progress Thursday. Stitches in his legs were removed, which is a major step toward Taylor being fitted for prosthetic devices.
A hand transplant specialist also visited Taylor on Thursday, Julie said.
"He would not even be a candidate until six months after being in prosthetics --- but the information was amazing," Juli said. The specialist told Taylor he was not a good candidate "but a great candidate" for that procedure, in the long term.
Taylor, a Navy bomb detection expert, lost portions of both legs, his left arm at the elbow and his right hand in the May 3 bomb blast in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Information about Morris' progress can be found at www.caringbridge.com/taylormorris and www.Taylormorris.org, where online cash donations can be made through PayPal. Checks also may be made out to the Taylor Morris Recovery Fund at any Veridian Credit Union branch. Bracelets and T-shirts are available for sale at www.Taylormorris.org.
A major fundraiser is being planned for October, in addition to a fundraiser next Thursday through June 10 at Tony's La Pizzeria on the Parkade in Cedar Falls. A fundraiser last weekend at Lost Island Waterpark raised $1,000.