Teen injured in classroom explosion remains hospitalized; fundraiser aims to help 'exhausted' family

Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-20 19:10:33-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. – An online fundraiser has raised more than $5,500to help one of the burn victims from last week’s fire inside a chemistry classroom at Dinwiddie High School.

Seventeen-year-old Jey Bryant’s father is a school resource officer in Prince George County.

Officer Magen Moreno, one of Bryant’s colleagues, is organizing a Facebook fundraiser to help the family.

“It was very hard,” Moreno said. "They're very tired, exhausted."

Jey Bryant
Jey Bryant

Moreno said the family is not venturing far from their son's bedside at VCU Medical Center.

“I've been trying to just keep their spirits up,” Moreno said. “At this point, we're just trying to remind them to keep their strength and make sure the family's eating and taking care of themselves, so that they can be there for Jey."

Moreno said the boy was recently moved out of intensive care and that he has been drinking more water.

"He is tough and is definitely a fighter," Moreno wrote.

But Moreno also knows there are other concerns like “day-to-day expenses,” so she setup a fundraiser.

"I didn't want him to have to worry, with everything else going on, add a financial strain to it," Moreno said.

RELATED: Former Dinwiddie superintendent says he would've handled fire at high school differently

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Moreno called Bryant a "good friend" that is "always been willing to help, to share his knowledge."

"He has a lot of expertise and experience that he's always willing to share with people," Moreno said.

Last Friday as information slowly began to be learned about the fire inside the chemistry lab, Moreno thought about Officer Bryant's son, who she knew was a senior at the school.

"I've heard Officer Bryant talks about his family and his children in general, so of course, hearing that, it's always a tragedy," Moreno said.

Jey Bryant
Jey Bryant

Even if you are unable to make a monetary donation, Moreno is grateful for any support.

"The family has a long road ahead of them. We ask for your generosity in donations to help pay for immediate healthcare costs, fuel and food along with future surgeries and therapies that will be necessary during recovery," Moreno wrote. "We appreciate the shares and just praying for the family.”

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The family said they appreciate the support they have received from Dinwiddie High School, the staff, teachers and students. However, they said they are concerned by a lack of support from the school board and school administration.

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