Over the weekend he had ridden from Chicago to Chattanooga to participate in a friends wedding. On the return trip Sunday he stopped near Mammoth Cave, KY and noticed that his back tire was disintegrating!
In order to proceed cautiously we located the closest motorcycle shop (in Glasgow, KY, about 10 miles away) and then the closest hotel. He spent Sunday night at the hotel and then was headed the next morning to the shop to get a new tire. We are confident he was riding relatively slowly and carefully.
As he proceeded down the Cumberland Pkwy just outside Glasgow, a Penske truck operated by a DHL driver pulled directly into his path. He hit the truck head on.
Josiah (JT) was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. He has sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and has spent 11 days in various parts of the trauma and neuro ICU units. Thankfully we believe that his physical injuries will heal. We are less certain, yet still hopeful, about his long term brain recovery. He is also unable to see using his right eye and the future there is uncertain.
We anticipate him being moved to a rehabilitative in-patient care unit here in Nashville, and then after 1-3 weeks, transported to Chicago (we'll probably need to rent an RV or other vehicle) to a local in-patient care facility for an undetermined amount of time. We then anticipate that his care will shift to daily out-patient care in Chicago with Josiah living with us. This kind of care usually goes on for at least a year.
The priority for us is the best possible care and living situation for one year, as we have been told that this is the critical time period to see his brain fully recover.
We are thankful for so many people praying on his behalf and generally supporting our family, including allowing myself (Joel/Dad) and mom (Paula) to be away from our work at Sunshine Gospel Ministries and Sunshine Enterprises.
Our financial need is for his care, transportation and modification to a home we are purchasing from Sunshine (currently under rehab).
While Josiah is "covered" by our Samaritan Ministries network (a fund in which all the members kick-in to help when one has a need) they do not publish (allow payment for) injuries sustained when there is another "at-fault" party. While DHL/Penske are at-fault here, we anticipate it will take years for those funds to be recovered.
Having funds on hand for his rehabilitative care is our more urgent situation. He has been given a grant for the initial 2 weeks (about $30,000) but we need to be able/ready to provide for his transport, care and housing after that.
Given the real possibility of permanant visual loss,
we will plan to build out a handicap accessible bedroom on the first floor adjacent to the master bedroom so he will be close to us where we can be aware of his needs and respond easily.
We will then need to do significant modifications to the unfinished basement to create a living space for our 3 younger kids. The basement is currently prone to flooding and will need work to prepare it for Corban (14), Caden (13) and Kaylie (11) with bedrooms a bathroom and underlying plumbing/drainage.
The specific financial issues we are facing are as follows:
Over the next year, the rehabilitative costs could be anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. These are both ballpark estimates with the lower amounts assuming that we are able to enroll JT in IL Medicaid and that the best place for his treatment will accepts it. The higher range would be in the event that one of those does not materialize.
We don't know what loss of income for work may be as we don't know if Paula can continue her role at SGM.
The work on the home will range between $20,000 and $60,000 increased costs over the originally planned renovation. (The lower end if we decide not to fix the drainage problems).
With all of the above in mind we've decided to set the goal on this site to $50,000.
- David Larsen
- Bethany Zucco
- Tim Bealert
- John and Robyn Loritsch
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