SM East student injured in car wreck to be taken off life support, community planning vigil services

One of the three SM East students involved in a car wreck on Cherokee Drive in Prairie Village last week will be taken off life support today after suffering severe brain injuries.

Alex Carney

A message posted by a member of Alex Carney’s family on the website CaringBridge Monday indicated that he was no longer responsive to interventions after being placed in a medically induced coma.

“With a broken heart I have to share that Alex’s medical team has done everything they could for him,” wrote Amy Lieberman on the CaringBridge page. “Unfortunately, the damage to Alex’s brain [is] too extensive. Alex is not in any pain and is very peaceful. His family is here with him.”

A message sent to the Nall Avenue Baptist Congregation, of which the Carney family are members, on Monday said the family planned to donate Alex’s organs.

“Despite superb medical teams and a strong, strong fighting kid, the trauma was just too much,” the family wrote in an email message to the church office.

Doctors have told the family that after being taken off life support Alex will likely pass away sometime Wednesday. The Carneys have requested time alone with Alex today.

There will be a special service to “lift up the family” and “pray for healing” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Nall Avenue Baptist, 6701 Nall Ave. in Prairie Village.

SM East students are also organizing a candlelight vigil for Alex and his family to be held at Loose Park Wednesday at 6 p.m. The vigil will give students the chance to share their memories of Alex, as well as to hear from social workers and school leaders.

SM East principal John McKinney said Monday he had been in contact with the family of the other student who suffered serious injuries in the accident, and that his prognosis was positive. The student has had multiple surgeries to treat his injuries, which included a broken femur, hip, wrist and clavicle. McKinney said doctors expect the student to be able to leave the hospital in a week or two, and that he may be able to return to school before the year is over.

McKinney asked the SM East community to keep all of the families affected by the wreck in their thoughts.

“We’ve got three families that have been devastated by this, and we want to make sure that everyone has the resources and support they need,” McKinney said. “There are lots of ways people can be hurting beyond just the physical injuries.”

Community donations through a number of campaigns have raised significant funds to help the Carney family handle lost wages and medical fees. A GoFundMe campaign launched by Nall Avenue Baptist member Neil Anderson has raised more than $12,000. The church held a separate series of offerings over the weekend that brought in around $13,000. A GoFundMe campaign circulating around the SM East community has raised around $5,000.