PRINCETON — Josiah Gore can feel the love all the way to Roanoke, Va. His mom, Tiffany Winn, is sure of it.
Her 16-year-old son hasn’t really been himself since he flipped an all-terrain vehicle in a terrifying accident Aug. 1 on Bell Street, but Tiffany said Thursday morning that he seemed more like Jo than he had in over a week.
“Up until today, he was in and out. The doctors said that was from the head injury and that was to be expected,” Tiffany said.
Josiah’s injuries were extensive. When he initially arrived at Princeton Community Hospital after his accident, caregivers determined he had a head injury, a broken shoulder, broken ribs and a broken back. After learning how much treatment the young man, who was set to start his third year on the Princeton Senior High Tigers’ defensive line, would need, authorities made plans to transport him by ambulance to the Roanoke, Va.’s Carilion Memorial Hospital. Last week’s difficult weather made air transport impossible.
In Roanoke, he underwent a surgery to fuse some of his vertebrae, which should help the healing of the fractures there.
Even understanding he had much recovery ahead, she was more than relieved when she entered his room Thursday to find him sitting up in bed, with his eyes wide open.
“He was telling me he wanted something to eat,” she said, laughing.
Tiffany, who has been staying at a Roanoke, Va., Ronald McDonald House with her husband, has also been traveling back and forth, to care for the couple’s other five children, as the first day of school approached. But she said the extended family, grandparents and caring community have also been huge in looking after everyone who worked to keep life as normal as possible and look after Josiah.
Tigers head coach Chris Pedigo has visited Josiah in person, and the players have been praying for him and talking about his healing in practice. Tiffany said she appreciates everything everyone has done for the whole family.
“I love seeing the boys come in and interact with Jo,” she said. “Coach Pedigo has been a real support to us. He’s been with us from the high school. It makes me real happy. He loves us from the football family, and for them to come down here and say they love Jo and care about him just means so much.”
There were times she said Jo had visitors when he wasn’t conscious. Though Tiffany couldn’t quite explain how she knew, she said she just felt her son’s happiness radiate off of him.
“Every time somebody came down here, even though he wasn’t conscious, I know he was glad they came,” she said.
Doctors don’t know exactly how long Josiah’s road to recovery will be. Right now, he can’t walk, primarily due to the injuries in his back. Doctors, who can’t make promises on anything, believe that will heal with his back, but they have told the family that process could take two weeks, two months or a year.
“You never know with this type of injury,” Tiffany said. “I just put my faith in God and let Him take care of it.”
In the meantime, with the family away from home and traveling much more extensively than usual, expenses mount quickly. Friends have started a Go Fund Me account for Josiah Gore.
To help the family financially during this difficult time, make a digital donation at https://www.gofundme.com/josiah-gore-funds.
Tiffany said the family appreciates everything — including prayers.
“We appreciate everything the community has done for us,” she said. “We love everybody in the community.”
— Contact Tammie Toler at firstname.lastname@example.org