Kelly has even taken to nicknaming his new friends. Strong has been dubbed Blondie, Foster has been called Speedy, and Mason has been called Kelmeister. Kelly has been able to attend a UK football game, thanks to his new friends and Coach Mark Stoops (who visited Kelly once as well), and he was able to take everything in from the sidelines and alongside the players themselves.
And Kelly and his family have been surrounded by local support. Science Hill School has been raising money to go to the family, and family friends created the “Kicking It 4 Kelly” Facebook page – with “The number four, not the letters,” according to Kelly – to keep everyone informed and to ensure Lisa and Harrison are able to concentrate on Kelly and his siblings instead of dispensing information.
The Science Hill Volunteer Fire Department even made Kelly an honorary firefighter, complete with firefighting gear.
“It really does take a community to raise your children,” said Lisa.
The kindness shown to Kelly has made the difficult journey easier on Kelly himself, but the Melton family has dealt with a number of things no family should ever have to go through.
Kelly’s stay in the hospital during his birthday and Christmas was a struggle, especially with three additional kids at home. And Kelly’s only wish for Christmas was that people pray, and he asked that people give blood.
Kelly, Lisa and Harrison said, is strong in his faith. In fact, when he was first sent to Lexington, he was most concerned about missing homework for class and missing Sunday School.
“Kelly has a tremendous amount of faith, as well as we do,” said Lisa.
“That’s kept us going.
“It’s kept him going,” continued Lisa. “I know I couldn’t have taken one-tenth of what he’s taken so far.”