As many of you know, our beloved friend, Justin Wonder Johnson, was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle, on the night of Tuesday, the 7th of June. The vehicle hit him from the left, causing him to crash-land on his side, against a street-level train track. Thankfully, the driver of another car spotted him and called for an ambulance, which meant Justin was able to be rushed to Highland Hospital.
In addition to a very serious break in his left femur, X-rays showed he had sustained multiple fractures to the bones in his elbow, causing the associated muscle to detach. He also required multiple stitches to his forehead, and has considerable bruising all along his left side. Amazingly, he was fortunate enough to avoid any brain, spine, or other serious internal injuries, but the days that followed consisted of two gruelingly long and intensive surgeries. They went as well as could be hoped for, but he is still in a severe amount of pain.
Unexpected complications made it difficult to manage this pain properly, which in turn made it very difficult to sleep, and put a stress on cognitive function and mental clarity. Korl, and other loved ones, fought to get his medications back on track, and keep him from being discharged prematurely. The situation has since been remedied, and Justin's condition is finally starting to steadily improve.
Justin's arm is expected to heal well, but with a notable loss of the original range and strength. He will be confined to a wheelchair for two months, and will not be able to walk unassisted for another six months after that. It won't be clear until December whether or not he will need another surgery on his hip, but our hope is that the right care and therapy will help ensure that he does not.
This tragic incident has had a tremendous and immediate impact on Justin’s life, as well as the shared life that he and Korl have been building with one another. His injuries will not only prevent him from working, but from participating in the upcoming record release performances and tour with his band, Badr Vogu. Additionally, Justin and Korl had planned on getting married later this summer, but now find it necessary to postpone celebrations until further notice.
During this next year, Justin and Korl's primary focus will be on his recovery and physically therapy, and there is a long road ahead to help Justin regain his mobility and physical independence.
When unforeseen incidents like these occur, the financial burden caused by medical expenses and lost wages can cause unyielding stress. Justin had only recently begun working at a new job, and had not yet reached eligibility for health coverage benefits. This has left Justin and Korl to carry the full financial weight of the quickly growing bills, including the ambulance ride, surgeries and hospital stay, as well as all of his post-discharge medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation equipment.
Having such amazingly supportive friends and family has made an enormous difference in helping Justin and Korl cope and stay positive, while they deal with this traumatic experience.
No donation is too small, and all are immensely appreciated. And of course if you are unable to offer financial support, there are other ways you can help them! Donating your time to help with basic day to day tasks, rides to and from therapy, veggies from your garden, or providing a home-cooked meal are all tremendous ways to show your support.
And of course your company and presence is always appreciated!
Let's all chip in to help our Justin get well and healthy, and back to drumming and enjoying life!
Update from Korl:
The initial goal of 10k was estimated to cover the main aspects of Justin's recovery and rehab, as physically therapy alone will cost between $6-7k without insurance. We are so overwhelmed by this being met so soon, and we'll be starting physical therapy early next week!! Hooray!
Donations past that amount will be used to help us pay for living expenses, and other non-medical necessities, while Just and I focus on around-the-clock care and rehabilitation milestones.
The updated goal of 15k reflects our final estimates of help we need with *all* of our financial needs for the next 8 months.
Luckily, we live fairly humbly, but we do need help paying for our phones, utilities, toiletries, household needs, etc, so the continued donations do make an enormous difference!