Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pray with Us for Josh and Emily

Josh and Emily Dickens of Vancourver, Washington were married on September 12 and went to Hawaii for their honeymoon. They returned about a week ago. This past Sunday they were on their way to Emily's parent's home near Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula to celebrate her mother's birthday when another vehicle crossed the center line and...


Josh was driving the red car. They survived and Josh, 24, was listed in satisfactory condition as of Tuesday but Emily, 22, almost died and though stable as of Tuesday evening is still in critical condition. More details on their condition below.

The driver and passenger in the other car did not survive. Mary E. Wyman, 60, of Port Angeles and her grandson, Theodin S. Nelson, 6, of Sequim died at the scene.

The families of Josh (the Dickens of Vancouver) and Emily (the Joners of Port Angelus) are requesting prayers for the newlyweds and also for the families of Wyman and Nelson. Theodin's mother and Wyman's daughter, Brooke Nelson, a real estate agent in Port Angelus, is on the local ballot for a city council position but has suspended her campaign for the moment. She and her husband, Sequim police officer, Darell Nelson, also have a daughter who attends Port Angeles High School.

More info can be found in this Peninsula Daily News article.

From this point I will be combining information I collected from this and other articles with information I received through my connection to Josh Dickens' family. When that information conflicts I will favor the version coming through my sister via Josh's mom.

Josh and Emily were both taken to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles but Emily was soon life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Josh's parents are with him and Emily's parents are with her.

Emily suffered lacerations to the liver and spleen and possibly the pancreas, a cervical spine fracture at the c-3 as well as a fractured lower vertabrae. Her spleen has been removed and her liver repaired. They are still unsure of the extent of damage to the c-3 but word is she was able to wiggle her toes according to my sister and her arms are working. They are keeping her sedated to prevent movement which could further damage the c-3.

In my sister's words via IM:

The dr.s (there were a bout 10 of them on the team the day they life-flighted her to Harborview in Seattle. Most of them felt that she couldn't be saved but one, Dr. Joseph, said lets give her a fighting chance. Her internal injuries were very severe. There was a leaking vein to her vena cava that had been repaired and then leaked again somewhere else. Her heart stopped on the operating table during the night 2 times.

They kept her open in case they had to do more surgery but she remained stable so they were going to close her up but her chest is still too swollen so we are PRAYING that she doesn't develop any infections and the swelling will go down.

Josh has a broken nose and the bones around one eye are shattered, the eye is ok but there is a thin bone behind the eye that is broke that causes him to have double vision when he looks up. They have had three specialists look at it. They have a 14 day window to decide to do surgery to fix. It may be permanent. Also he has a deflated lung which is getting better but is having a hard time due to what ever had to be done when he was a premie.


Josh is just now beginning to grasp the seriousness of his new wife's injuries and their implications. He's having a hard time processing this as can be imagined. It's especially hard for him to not be able to go to her side. He's likely to remain hospitalized for the remainder of the week.

Keep in mind (as you pray) that the financial implications of all of this for this young couple are nearly as devastating as their injuries.

I haven't seen Josh since he was around 11 but I've been kept abreast of the major milestones of his life through my sister who has been close with his mother since they were in elementary school together. I used to babysit his mother and uncle when I was a teen and they had moved in two houses down. Her mother, Josh's grandmother, became friends with my mother and currently, my sister's 15 year old son is close with Josh's youngest sibling, a brother, born the same summer as my nephew. Josh has two younger sisters as well, one of them just recently married herself and the other still in high school.

Please hold this family in your hearts.

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