Former Levine Children’s Hospital patient Connor Mckemey is pursuing his passion for radio through an internship with the hospital’s Seacrest Studios this summer.
Now 19 years old, Mckemey was in eighth grade when he first came to Levine Children’s Hospital, after more than 87 percent of his body was burned by a back yard bonfire. After months of surgeries and rehabilitation sessions, Connor was strong enough to return to his home in Tega Cay, SC.
Despite facing several physical challenges through his recovery, Connor found a way to pursue his passions, including radio.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity that gives me a chance to look into a field that I have been curious about for a few years now,” Connor said. “But most importantly, this lets me go back to the hospital that did so much for me in my recovery and truly made a difference in how my life is today.”
Connor had to change his entire outlook on life after his accident, but he says it has shaped him to be the man he is today. “Being burned gave me an opportunity to be different,” he said. “At first I hated that. I just wanted to be like everyone else and look like everyone else. But once I came to grips with what happened to me I realized I have a chance to stand out and make a difference.”
During his internship at Seacrest Studios, Connor has received extensive education in the radio broadcast field, including fieldtrips to local radio stations and the opportunity to host shows, create playlists, make announcements and interact with patients.
“The entire staff at the hospital gave me my fire inside to push myself past anything I considered a limit and made me better every day. I couldn’t ask for a better way to pay back the people who gave me back so much,” said Connor.
Connor hopes his story will serve as inspiration for all patients at the hospital. He believes that having someone who has been in their shoes talk to them can make all the difference.