A fundraising effort is underway for the family of a Paintsville man badly burned in an accident last month.

Willie Owens suffered extensive burns over half of his body June 16 when a lawnmower overturned and spilled gasoline. Since then, his aunt Joanna Owens has said, he has been recovering at Cabell Huntington Hospital, and infections have kept him on hemodialysis and forced doctors to amputate both his legs and part of one arm.

Owens had been working part time at the radio stations of WSIP/WKLW in Paintsville and been an active leader with his Ramey Branch Gospel Church’s youth group, in addition to numerous community organizations.

Efforts to help have spread across the Johnson County community. The Highland Church of Christ has been named the site of a possible blood drive later this summer in coordination with the American Red Cross. A fundraiser started by his former Johnson Central High School classmate Kimberly Back raised nearly $2,000. 

Now, his radio “family” is taking donations at the offices of WSIP in Paintsville. Checks can be brought to the station at 127 Main Street.

Joanna Owens said the family appreciates, and can feel, the prayers for Willie’s recovery and their entire family, including Willie’s wife and two children, ages 5 and 2. 

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