Friday, January 1, 2010

Family Tragedy

by Pa Rock

Gail is my only sibling. She has four kids and I have three, and as my father often observed, "There isn't a bad apple in the whole bunch."

Gail's youngest child, Reed (age 23), has lived and worked in Las Vegas for the past two years. This past week Reed and his girlfriend, a second grade teacher from Las Vegas named Jamie, were in Noel for his grandfather's funeral. Yesterday morning he and Jamie left McDonald County in a mini-van driven by Reed's father, Bob Smith, and Bob's cousin, Bobby Jack Short. Sometime early last night they were involved in a horrific traffic accident one hundred and twenty miles north of Amarillo, Texas. Reed's father and his cousin were killed instantly when their van ran into the side of a hot-oil tanker. Reed was very seriously injured and life-flighted to a hospital in Amarillo. Jamie had minor injuries and was hospitalized overnight in Perryton, Texas.

We learned during the night that Reed was in critical condition and underwent two surgeries. He had to have his spleen and one kidney removed, but now seems to be in stable (though still critical) condition. Gail and I, and Gail's daughter Tiffany and her husband, Nathan Burke, managed to get to Amarillo early this morning. Jamie got to Reed's bedside soon after she was released from the hospital in Perryton, and Reed's sister, Heidi, and brother, Justin, made it to Amarillo this evening.

We appreciate everyone's prayers and concern. We have all been up forty-plus hours and will probably be impossible to reach tonight. But know this: Reed's family loves him and are here ready to do whatever it takes to get this fine young man well again and home.

Tonight I wish that I could talk to my dad.


Carla said...

You are all in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Anonymous said...

Please tell Gail, Heidi, Tiffany and Justin we are so sorry for their loss. Reed's "other family in Prairie Grove" is coming to Amarillo as soon as we can get it all together. We are praying for Reed with all our hearts. Prairie Grove sends love and prayers to Amarillo!!!!!!!!!

Brenda Kilby said...

This is so terribIe!
I had a feeIing something wasn't right, because you have been on my mind aII day.
PIease teII GaiI I know and I'm praying for his recovery, and I'm so sorry about Bob and his cousin.
PIease Iet me know if there is anything I can do.

Anonymous said...

Brooke and Matthew Chandler said to tell Reed that we love him very much! Matt has always said that he is Reed's brother from a different mother. Matt was there throughout all of Reed's chemo. He really enjoyed playing basketball with him back in the day even if he did "let him win". Hehe. We know that he is a fighter and will make it through this! We love you, Reed, and we miss you very much! Recover quickly!

Phillipia said...

I am so sorry, Rock.

I have been not keeping up this week on blogging and missed this earlier.

You and your family are in my prayers.

molly. said...

Although I know that you really needed to talk to Granddad this night, I must say that I am relieved he did not have to hear this news & experience this trauma with the rest of us. Granddad held a very special place in his heart for Reed.