LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — U.S. Army military policewoman Sgt. Helaina Lake, who was seriously injured in a suicide-bombing in Afghanistan in June, is on her way to recovery but still has a long way to go.

“She sounded so much better a couple of days ago when I spoke to her than she did a couple of weeks ago,” her sister, Kathrynn Lake, said Tuesday. “The first time I talked to her, her voice was high-pitched and you could tell how much pain she was in.”

She is still soft-spoken, but the pain appears to be more under control, Lake said.

Her sister has undergone several surgeries on a shattered leg and is being treated for other injuries at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

While Helaina Lake recovers, fundraising continues on the homefront. Nearly $11,000 was raised in roadblocks in late June in Livermore Falls and Jay to help the family with travel and related expenses.

A car wash is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 13, at Labonville’s store on Wilton Road in Farmington to benefit the Wounded Helaina Fund. There is also an account set up for donations to the fund at Otis Federal Credit Union in Jay.

Helaina Lake, 23, is formerly of Livermore Falls and a 2007 graduate of Livermore Falls High School. She was a scholar-athlete throughout her school years and also a volunteer firefighter with the Livermore Falls Fire Department.

Lake had been stationed at Camp Salerno, a forward operating base in eastern Afghanistan, when the attack by Taliban insurgents occurred June 21, according to news reports.

She was moved from a hospital in Germany to Maryland on June 25.

“She is staying really, really positive,” Kathrynn Lake said.

She has been able to speak to her 2-year-old son, Aden, who is staying with his grandfather, Bernal Lake, in Livermore Falls and other family members.

Helaina and Kathrynn’s mother, Jeannine Lake, a registered nurse, has been staying by her wounded daughter’s side at the center in Maryland.

“My mom is hanging in there,” Kathrynn Lake said.

Letters or cards can be sent to Sgt. Helaina Lake at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md. 20889-5600.

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