Household of 1-year-old hit by alleged drunken driver grateful for outpouring of assist
SALT LAKE CITY – Nick Turner and his family will have a different kind of Christmas this year.
His youngest daughter, Jaxynn Love Turner, who turns two on Valentine’s Day, will be in a long-term care facility in Salt Lake City as police continue to recover from being run over by a drunk motorcyclist.
Nick and his wife will swap weeks, one spending time with Jaxynn while the other staying with their two older daughters at their St. George home.
But Turner says he already got his Christmas present this year. In addition to Jaxynn, who has made an amazing recovery, he said the biggest gift this year was a flood of well-wishers and donations his family received from the community and the entire region.
“This is my Christmas present this year – my faith in humanity has been restored,” Turner said Tuesday.
“The friendliness and the prayers mean so much to me. The response was overwhelming. We are so grateful and grateful.”
On December 5th, Jaxynn in St. George was hit by a motorcycle near 500 North and 1500 West.
Gregory James McClary, 62, drove off after the accident claiming he was unaware that police said he hit a child.
“He was on a motorcycle. I don’t see how he didn’t know,” said Turner, who found that he had never seen McClary before, even though he lived just down the street.
McClary was charged in the 5th District Court for not staying at the scene of the accident with serious injuries and DUI, both third-degree crimes.
Immediately after the crash, police said Jaxynn had “bruised brain and liver injury”.
In addition to a severe concussion and swelling around her lungs, it soon emerged that Jaxynn also had an aneurysm in her heart that “exploded like a balloon,” Turner said.
The father and daughter soon found themselves on a medical helicopter flying to Salt Lake City.
At first, doctors said Jaxynn’s only option was a heart transplant, her father recalled.
This is my Christmas present this year – my faith in humanity has been restored.
Since then, Turner said, doctors have sought medical advice from colleagues across the country. And while Jaxynn stayed on the waiting list to receive a transplant on Tuesday, doctors are now saying that there is a way she could keep her heart if she continues to develop the positive development she has, he said.
“She is really, very well,” said her father. “I’m very proud of her. She just shows so much strength.”
Since arriving at Primary Children’s Hospital, Jaxynn has done better than expected, according to her father.
But despite the positive progress, Turner said his daughter’s heart was damaged and she couldn’t go home for two to three months. She could be transferred to a long-term care facility by next week, he said.
Turner said Jaxynn was “a typical kid” who loved jumping on the bed or trampoline, going for walks, and playing with bouncy balls.
The incident was particularly difficult for the young child’s sisters, he said.
“You really want to see your sister. You miss her.”
Turner reiterated that his family is extremely grateful for the support they have received from the community, including a GoFundMe campaign * launched by a staff member to help cover medical costs and pay for things like Mortgage and money carry other bills while the family commutes between St. George and Salt Lake City.
“People have done so much,” said Turner. “My wife and I are just very grateful for the feedback we have received so far.”
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