Community rallying around Newport teen

Fundraiser held for Newport teen battling complications of viral infection

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Family and friends of a Newport teen put into a medically induced coma are rallying for his recovery.

Hundreds of people came out to a fundraiser at Cappy’s HIllside Cafe on Saturday to support eighteen year old Mckenzie Leno, who is battling a viral infection.

“Strong, athletic, just a great kid,” are some of the ways friends and family described the college freshman and Rogers High School graduate.

But since early January, Mckenzie has been hospitalized after Mono and Strep got drastically worse.

“It’s hard to see Mckenzie go through this,” said Rob Leno.

His uncle Rob Leno showed up wearing a t-shirt reading, ‘Miracle Mckenzie’ with the hashtag Leno Strong.

He’s just one of the people that has spent countless hours by Mckenzie’s side.

Another one is Mackenzie’s lifelong friend Karl Magner.

“There’s times where it’s emotional, there’s times where I just walk in like nothing is there and I just talk to him,” said Magner

Karl is a diehard Patriots fan, but he wore an Eagles jersey to the fundraiser because of a bet he made with his friend before the Super Bowl.

Although Mckenzie was already in a medically induced coma during the game, family and friends watched at the hospital and they’re convinced he knew what was going on.

“The Eagles were making touchdowns the machines were just going, beeping, everything doing everything, and they were like he hears the game,” said Magner.

“I’m good with the loss, we’ve got plenty of wins.  I think we can accept this one loss for him,” said Leno.

Mackenzie’s uncle said the support seen from friends and family, as well as people they don’t even know, has been incredible.

Family and friends said Mckenzie recently showed some signs of improvement and that he is expected to recover, but it’s going to be a long road to get there.