Jasmine was in the passenger side backseat and Nesrine was in the front passenger seat. Their friend was in the driver's seat. The small car they were in was fully stopped at a red light when they were hit from behind and to the passenger side of the car by another small car moving at a high rate of speed. The damage was extensive to both Jasmine and Nesrine and to the vehicle they were in as well as to another vehicle also hit by the speeding motorist.
This is a photo of the car that Yasmine and Nesrine were rescued from, taken on the night of the accident.
Fortunately the driver of the vehicle Nesrine and Yasmine were in was not seriously hurt and neither was the driver of the second vehile struck although both vehicles were totaled. It was also very fortunate that the driver of the car Nesrine and Jasmine were in is a medical professional who knew what to do in this situation to render immediate aid.
The driver who caused the accident was taken into custody and released pending the ongoing policce investigation. There are many suspiscions as the the causes of his bad behavior on the road but we do not yet have conlusive answers, but the police will issue their report soon and legal proceedings will follow.
My wife Nesrine has a very serious spinal cord injury and 5 broken ribs while her sister Jasmine almost died twice, first from loss of blood and weeks later due to infection and has mostly been in a medically induced coma for several weeks, with broken hips, pelvis, legs, a head injury and many internal injuries.
When this occurred Nesrine was visiting her family for the first time in two years, since she moved to the USA.
I am a natural born US Citizen and Nesrine and initially got to know each other on Facebook in 2011 through my writings critical of theocracy and dictatorship and advocating uniersal human rights across borders and cultures globally. As we got to know each other I fell in love and I knew that I had found the woman I was willing to go through any sort of struggle necessary in order that we could be together.
To make a very long story short, I had to quit school, leave all of my good friends behind in San Diego, change careers (get a CDL and spend time driving over the road), move to rural New Mexico where I grew up and after years of struggle to make the requirements of the Fiancee Visa, living on opposite sides of the world and only seeing each other once per year, Nesrine and I were finally able to get married and begin our life together. We were planning to move to the New York City area once she had her new Green Card.
Because of this accident my wife may lose her Green Card as she has been out of the US since December 11th and was set to return on February 18th. Her current provisional 2 year Green Card expires in June and we were planning to begin the application for the 10 year Green Card in March on the earliest date the application is allowed.
Because of this horrible accident Nesrine will neither be able to be back in time to get her new Green Card or to return within 6 months of leaving the country to keep the current one. Nesrine will not physically be able to travel for some time to come as it will be a few more weeks before she will even be able to sit up or turn in bed on her own due to her broken ribs.
Before leaving the USA for Tunisia I was put in touch with many competent attorneys would advised me on our options and since arriving I have visited the US Embassy and have been informed that our best option in this circumstance for preserving Nesrine's right to return to the USA is through an SB1 Visa which we will be applying for.
Many family and friends in Tunisia donated to cover the initital medical expenses for things like the 10 screws now holding my wife's spine together, the antibiotic that needed to be imported from France that was needed to save mmy sister-in-law's life, their many weeks of hospitalization and expensive surgeries.
However, they both have a very long road to recovery and will both need a lot of expensive rehabilitation, special accomodations (including wheelchairs, special beds, and the need of the family to move to a ground floor residence among many others). Both are still far from being able to be discharged from their respective hospitals to be able to live at home and Nesrine may require a bone marrow transplant in France which could be very expensive, so this is where Go Fund Me comes in.
I was able to cash in my saved vacation from my employer to pay for my airfare. We had tried unsuccessfully all of 2017 to save enough for us both to come to Tunisia for a wedding celebration, which is why I had so much unused vacation time and why I insisted on Nesrine going home for a visit on her own before out planned move to the New Jersey/New York area in 2018.
Obviously, due to this tragedy I was forced to leave the US suddenly and indefinitely to live in Tunisia and care for my wife and sister-in-law, leaving my job, family, friends, almost all of our personal belongings in the USA including my beloved research library of nonfiction books, some quite rare and out-of-print and my beloved collection of exotic and avant garde music, many of Nesrine's beautiful clothes and my grandfather's art.
I left El Paso on United with three suitcases and somehow between Houston and Istanbul United and Turkish Airlines lost my "excess baggage" which United charged me $200 for, which contained all of my clothes, some irreplacable personal sentimental items, and my small portable recording unit I had hoped to make my new album on once I get get another guitar. Weeks later its is still nowhere to be found.
The personal sentimental items, which included the many love letters I sent Nes over the years are in that suitcase. You may ask why they were in the suitcase. Well, United was being very strict about the size of my carryon which was stuffed with documents, my laptop, and my wife's jewelry and a rearrangement had to be hastily made to make the carryon smaller. United ignorantly and arrogantly kept insisting that my final destination was Istanbul not matter how many times I eplained that it was just a layover, so they only tagged my bags that far and failed to load the third bag onto the flight to Istanbul at all.
Since my arrival in Tunis Turkish Airlines has repeatedly told me that our suitcase is nowhere to be found and United has repeatedly told me that it is none of their business and I need to talk to Turkish even though United were the last ones known to have the suitcase and United were the ones who charged me $200 to get it to us safely. I will never forgive the callousness and incompetence of United Airlines for not only losing these items, but for seeming not to care or to have any desire to compensate us for the loss.
But physical items, even those that can never be replaced and mean so much, do not mean as much as holding loved ones you nearly lost, especially the love of my life. Tunisia has become a very dangerous country for drivers and pedestrians in recent years, one of the worst in the world. Even on the flight from Istanbul to Tunis I likely encountered evidence of this, in that a young Tunisian man who was wheelchair bound was sitting in the row in front of me.
Sadly, only a short while after my arrival there was another tragic accident close to where Nesrine and Jasmine were nearly killed in which a very promising young couple of medical students who were engaged to be married were killed. The young man was a former student of Nesrine and Jasmine's aunt and the young woman was a genius who had obtained her Bachelor's Degree at the age of 18 and did volunteer medical work for some of the poorest people in Tunisia.
This is a country where many intersections are utter chaos, cars are parked on the sidewalk, pedestrians are everywhere in the streets, cars are going the wrong way on one way roads, and people are not stopping at red lights and stop signs. We must persue justice in this case and also advocate for stricter law enforcement, better traffic codes, and better awareness of proper driving behavior. There are far too many tragedies like this occurring.
The most recent medical situation as of this first updated version fo the story is that Jasmine is out of danger from the infection and has had to have her gall bladder removed. She lost capacity temporarily in one lung but it has recovered and she is breathing normally again.
Jasmine is in traction for the broken bones and will be in bed for a long time to come. Her throat and voice are damaged from the weeks of breathing and eating tubes, but they will recover. She was finally able to speak in a whisper and had a long visit with her parents yesterday. Jasmine finally knows what has happened to her and her sister.
Fortunately Jasmine does not have a spinal injury like her sister. She will recover but it will be a long recovery, with much time in bed, followed by much time in a wheelchair and a very long time in rehabilitation.
Nesrine is also still stuck in bed, unable to move even to turn on her side without assistance. Once her broken ribs heal she will have full mobility above the waist and in the next few weeks should be able to begin sitting upright and getting out of bed and into a wheelchair.
Nesrine has finally begun to have some feeling in some of the areas where feeling was lost. It is going to come back very gradually. Yesterday she told me she was able to feel pressure applied to her knees and her feet and her lower belly, but still can't feel most of her legs. However she was able to intentionally move her legs slightly a couple of days ago.
Nesrine and Jasmine are both very brave and very strong women and they both have many people that love and adore them and they will overcomes this.
I give my most sincere thanks to any one who donates any amount. You will be helping one of the most loving families you could ever know. Nesrine and Yasmine are two of the most intelligent, beautiful, kind, and unique young women you could ever meet and their wonderful, wise, loving parents are working hard for their full recovery.
Thank you all so much.
These photos were taken the morning after the accident.
Here again is the photo of the car Yasmine and Nesrine were recovered from on the night of the accident followed by a photo of the car that hit them.
Here is a recent photo of my beautiful brave wife recovering. Unfortunately, there are no such photos of Jasmine yet as she has been in a military hospital and until very recently in a medically induced coma. I will post a photo of my beautiful sister-in-law as soon as it will be possible.
May they be reunited soon on the road to recovery.
Thank you all!
- Matt Towey
- Nancy Dryden
- Fred Miller
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more