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Students Work To Help Their Former Teacher Return To The Classroom

JOPPA, Md. (WJZ) -- A local teacher continues to recover after an illness that started as a bad cold turned to sepsis. The ordeal in March of last year has kept her out of the classroom.

Mary Bubala reports her students are teaching all of us a lesson about determination.

As a teacher, Anne Mekalian is a stickler for good penmanship. Her students work hard at it and now, so does she. Mekalian is learning to write again with prosthetics after losing both her arms and her legs to a blood infection called sepsis after being diagnosed with double pneumonia.

"The blood, it goes to the main organs so it went to the heart and the brain and didn't really get to the extremities," said Mekalian.

The amputation was shocking and difficult news for her students at The School of the Cathedral.

"I was really worried about her and all I could do was start praying," said Chris Warner, student.

"I was really upset and very, very scared," said Claire Locke, student.

To help Mekalian, her students created "Driving Ms. M," a campaign on the website

"She has been a wonderful teacher. Now she has prosthetics but she's still the same person and has the same heart," said Michael Dorsey, student.

So far, they've raised more than $13,000 to help their teacher equip a new van with the special equipment a quadruple amputee needs to drive.

"It speaks a lot to their parents about how much their parents have taught them about caring for other people and doing things for other people," Mekalian said.

Students are determined to help get Ms. M back in the classroom.

"I want to see her walk through those doors every morning," said Casey Brown.

She hopes to return to the classroom after she gets her driver's license.

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