Jessica Jones was a passenger in a friend’s car in June 2018 when it bumped a median and crashed into a wall. Her side of the car received all the impact. Jessica suffered a lacerated kidney, five broken ribs, a broken thumb on her right hand, two broken fingers on her left hand and two broken bones in her left arm.
The following day, surgeons at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital repaired her arm with plates and set her thumb and fingers. Her ribs were the most difficult part of her recovery. “It was painful to breathe, laugh or cough – and coughing was a must,” she says. Breathing treatments were a regular part of her two-week hospital stay.
As hard as it was to breathe, it was even harder to keep her emotions in check. “I was devastated. I have a really hard time letting someone take care of me. I had to learn how. My family forced me to let them help.” Jessica’s 19-year-old daughter, Diamoneisha, became her number one nurse, sleeping at the hospital and caring for her at home. Jessica’s mom cared for her other children.
Before the accident, Jessica worked as a technician in a plasma lab. The staff at LBJ Hospital awakened a long dormant dream in her to become a nurse. “I watched the nurses move through their day from shift to shift, while they made being a patient as enjoyable as possible. One nurse in particular, Esmerelda, the best nurse ever, went the extra mile, even going to the gift shop to get a present for my daughter’s birthday. She motivated me to get back to my original dream of becoming a nurse.”
Now Jessica is in school to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse and intends to pursue a Registered Nurse degree. “I plan to become a trauma nurse at LBJ.”
Jessica is happy to have her life back to normal, taking care of her children rather than having them care for her. A new normal is adjusting to the surgical scars on her left arm. “I’ve learned that even with flaws, you can still be beautiful.”
She’s taking advantage of everything she learned during her recovery. “I am strong. I didn’t know I was so strong. This is my chance to start over.”