Jamey Murray a Scholar and Tri-Athlete
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Never had I seen such a determination to live and such a sweetness of spirit as exhibited by Jamey Murray.
And Jamey is touch. He was an "A" student at OklahomaChristianCollege and a tri-athlete who could swim a half mile, run 5 miles, and bike 20 miles.
On July 20, 1985 two drunk girls crashed a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass into Jamey while he was riding his bike and sent Jamey, with his handle bars still in his hands 42 feet in the air. He sustained a broken leg, dislocated ribs, bruised lungs, internal bleeding, abrasions, and worst of all, extensive brain damage.
His Granddad had always said, "Get a good education, and nobody can take that from you." It appeared that there might be exceptions! Jamey lacked 4 hours from being a senior in college.
The doctors said that if he lived past the first three critical days, there would be the possibility of paralysis, and dependent upon a life-support system. No one knew the effect of the "extensive brain damage."
A detailed notebook of Jamey's daily condition, visitors, etc. was kept by his mother. The following notations were made:
July 29th- Jamey opened his eyes some. Dr. Standefer talked to us and gave us no hope of mental and emotional ability.
July 31st- Jamey moved his left arm.
Aug. 2nd- Drained a large amount of fluid off his stomach- contained old blood. His blood pressure went down.
Aug. 3rd- He has an upper G.I. bleeding ulcer (G.I. Gastric Intestine), they gave Jamey tow units of blood to build him up.
Aug. 4th- Some blood showed in his urine.
Aug. 5th- Jamey's lungs are moving in when he breathes instead of out. It indicates they have been separated from the ribs.
Aug. 8th- some of the nerves to the eyes are not yet functioning properly.
Aug.9th- Jamey might have to be on Dilantin for up to 2 years, but perhaps a judgment would be that teh side effects were worse than the chance of a convulsion.
Aug.13th- Jamey is being transferred to St. John's, Jamey's temperature came up during the trip a little 101.4.
Aug. 16th- Jamey does have some damage to his front teeth, Jamey was wheeled to surgery, we signed a permit to have a spinal tap made to find the source of infection causing the fever.
Aug. 17th- Jamey's temp was up all day and he did a lot of spastic movements.
Aug. 21st- they are going to put some splints on Jamey's hands and perhaps arms to keep them stretched and straightened.
Aug. 23rd- Nurse examined shoe, decided he needed a splint type shoe.
Aug. 25th- Jamey pulled the tube about 6" out of his nose.
Aug. 27th- Dr. Maizoub came and said negative results on all tests still feels the fever must be associated with the brain or head, 2 blood samples were drawn.
Aug. 28th- for temp puffy ice packs under arms and on groin area. Dr. Maizoub came all tests are negative blood, urine, etc. He feels it is unusual for the temp to have gone down and now rise so high.
Aug. 29th- Dr. Smith came in and examined Jamey and evidently could not find anything wrong. He said they would run some more cultures and try to isolate the cause of the fever.
Aug. 30th- 10:45 Dr. Maizoub came by feels there is some brain stem damage and that is shown by lack of physical mobility the hand splint and elbow splint to be alternated every hour and a half.
6:58 Dr. Smith came and examined Jamey. He says it's not unusual for this type of injury for the body's temp control to go awry.
Sept. 1st- 10:30 Dr. Maizoub did another spinal tap since no other test has shown a source. The temp could be from an inflammation such as the broken leg or it could be Jamey's temp system is out of kilter.
Sept. 1st- 9:00 Dr. Smith came and said spinal tap clear of all infection. No seizure medication's as of 3 days.
Will let us know of any developments. 6:15 IV started, gastro tube reinserted. 11:30 102.5 ice bags and wet towels.
Sept. 7th- 2:30 Jamey fought his tubes until his hands were placed on the side rails of bed.
Sept. 8th- 1:30 sponged him with wash cloth every 30 minutes cloth on head to toe plus ice bags. 5:45 Jamey was struggling all day finally he pulled the catheter out and it was not allowing the urine to flow.
Sept. 9th- Could start trying to feed Jamey soft foods, soup jell-o he continues high fever, perspiring and muscle spasms.
Sept. 13th- 6:30 Jamey rubbed his left cheek and chin twice with the right hand. 4:45 IV removed Yeah! Jamey rubbed his eyebrows a couple of times.
Sept. 15th- We need to wash Jamey's teeth after every feeding to be sure he doesn't pouch good. Means keeping it in his cheek seeming to chew and swallow it. Later if it is pulled into his lungs bringing on serious pneumonia.
Sept. 20th- Jamey was moved to St. John'sRehabCenter (BradyBuilding) for physical, speech and occupational and cognitive therapy.
Sept. 22nd- Dr. Ali said perhaps we could bring a puppy or a kitten for Jamey to pet.
Sept. 24th- Jamey drew a circle, square, J, and a triangle. J and triangle were definitely well made. Cast was changed to his knee will bend.
Sept. 25th- Red Letter Day! Jamey spoke!! 9:30 he said six, seven, eight, Jamey, water, to Becky and Maura. 2:00 In speech therapy Jamey counted to ten, said Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, ball, phone, mother, also on the phone, Alice Waid asked him how he was he said, I am doing ok.
Jamey continued to progress. He graduated from his wheel chair to a walker, to a wide white canvas belt (so we could help hold him up), to standing erect and shuffling his feet on his own.
ONE YEAR LATER
By July 20, 1986 Jamey could say complete sentences. Most of the time he speaks distinctly and loud enough to be understood.
The extent of his brain damage is obvious in his memory. His short term and long term memory has been severely impaired. His emotions and ability to discern seem to be improving slowly.
The doctors/hospital bills have been almost $200,000.00. There is a possibility two more years of rehabilitation needed before a plateau will be reached where therapy will no longer help.
Jamey experienced all of this, and more, because of two drunk girls.
FOOTNOTE: THE THREE DRUNKS
According to the police report, the driver who hit Jamey was Sheila Faye Amos, a 17 year old girl who had a blood alcohol content of .16%. She had no driver's license.
She was sent to "YouthBridge" in Fayetteville, Arkansas where she spent 10 months in this facility which, according to their literature, offers "camping and canoeing, sometimes art shows or theatrical productions, arts and crafts and music lessons."
The owner of the car, Debbie Tatum, was passed out in the front seat of the car due to a drunken stupor. She would serve 30 days in jail and a 11 month suspended sentence in the Franklin County Jail in Ozark, Arkansas.
Another drunken fact involved in this case is that Paul X. Williams, Jr. had been arrested for DWI in Perry, Arkansas and had been found guilty. He was appealing his case. He was the prosecutor who prosecuted Sheila and Debbie in the Booneville, Arkansas Municipal Court.