OREM — A month ago, Maddison Jones was involved in a horrible car accident that left her in a coma.
Her family says it’s the response on social media that’s keeping them full of hope.
On Oct. 10, life changed for the 22-year-old Orem woman. Jones was a passenger in a car that was broadsided.
"The thing that I was told when I got to the trauma room was that the injuries to her body should have killed her,” said Merilee McClellan, Jones' mother.
On the family’s Facebook page Pray4Mad, the family says both of her lungs were punctured, her liver was severely cut, one of her kidney's shut down, but worst of all was the traumatic brain injury.
Jones remains in a coma. She can open her eyes and has moved her limbs. Over the weekend, the family posted an update saying, “Maddi was off of her ventilator for the day, which means she was breathing on her own all day. Some miracles seem bigger than others, but we are grateful for both the big and small ones. Also during physical therapy, she was able to hold her head up on her own for the first time. Another miracle! Two in one day.”
“What some people might call a coincidence, we’ve had miracles, every single day, little and big,” said McClellan. “The first one being that she didn’t die at the scene of the accident. The gift of the people who were there in the trauma room, my husband, her trauma doctor, which turned out to be our spiritual leader, our bishop, (and a) world-renowned neurosurgeon that happened to be there. Just everything fell into place for her to be here.”
Jones is the youngest of five. Jessica Wagstaff, her sister, remembers the adorable baby and little girl she was. "There's just something special about her, and there always has been since the day she was born,” Wagstaff said.
Her brother, Nate Jones, says a close family has become even closer.
“It definitely has put things into perspective,” he said. "Jobs and everything are important, and we still have been able to find ways to get everything else done, but it’s really brought, not only our family, but our friends and people we don’t know, it’s brought a lot of perspective.”
This LDS family believes in prayer and has been embraced by the community. Nick Jones says one scenario tells the story of his sister’s heart.
"There's been hundreds of people come into the hospital waiting room,” he said, “and almost every one of them says, ‘Me and Maddi were best friends.’"
But then came the unexpected support on Facebook and Instagram. The family decided to keep everyone up to date every day with postings about her progress. People from throughout the world responded.
Adri Millet, Maddi Jones' sister, says they tell Maddi how many ‘likes’ she has. "The amazing part is how much strength we get from the people that not only like it, but take the time to comment on it,” she said.
The outpourings have continued to flow in Facebook messages: "Just wanted to let you know that although I'm not a particularly religious person, there was a heartfelt tearful prayer sent up for Maddi from Scotland."
"You don't know me, but prayers from Tulsa, Oklahoma."
“Sad for you from Arkansas. Prayers for God's will. Love and peace to your family and friends. My heart wishes light of healing to come, be and surround you all.”
"Sending so so much love, prayers and positive energy to you all, from Adelaide, Australia."
"Love and prayers from our family in New Zealand to yours."
Nate Jones said the family never anticipated what has happened. "The only way that I can explain what, attribute the strength to, is the prayers of thousands,” he said.
McClellan says they are living the way Maddi did; she never had a bad day.
“We really haven’t had any bad days since this happened,” McClellan said, adding they've had some moments with a little bit of panic creeping in, "but for the most part, it is washed away with that ‘peace that passeth all understanding.’”
And just Friday morning, from another woman they don't know, McClellan remembers her words: "Thank you for letting her sleep, so the rest of us could wake up."