Beaumont organization brings Christmas to hit-and-run survivor


Jasmine Hamilton is determined to walk again, but she needs help getting out of her house first.

On March 27, 2020, Hamilton, then 19, walked up Gulf Street to see her father in his free time after three jobs and a business parallel to hairdressing – a passion she had planned to make in her future.

The next thing Hamilton remembers is waking up in hospital unable to move and surrounded by medical staff.

“I was crying and crying,” she told The Enterprise earlier this month, recalling the incident in her wheelchair with new puppy TJ by her side.

Hamilton had been hit from behind by a hit-and-run driver exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 miles.

A passerby who pulled over and called an ambulance saved her life, said mother Erin Turner, who “was heartbroken after reading the EMS report describing her daughter being found face down. earth and did not react “.

This same passerby answered Hamilton’s phone when her father called to check on the whereabouts of his missing daughter.

He then called Turner, who was with her family “just hanging out and having a good time”, when she heard their daughter was on her way to the hospital.

Frantic, Turner arrived at Christus St. Elizabeth, where Hamilton was one of two accident victims listed as Jane Does brought to the emergency room simultaneously.

“They told me to prepare,” because one woman had died and the other was still alive, she recalls.

Turner prayed for the two when she entered the living victim’s bedroom, where she found her daughter bloodied and in critical condition.

“For three days they said I wasn’t going to live,” Hamilton said.

The driver of the car was sentenced just weeks ago by Judge Raquel West to seven years in prison – a sentence Turner said “is not enough.” He ruined his life and changed all of our lives.

Their sentence is not seven years, it is life.

Hamilton became paraplegic after the accident.

She spent five months in intensive care, her iconic long hair being shaved while a brace was attached to her skull for head stabilization during recovery.

Hamilton now suffers from such severe anxiety that she feels like she can’t breathe.

Erin Turner and her sister Shayla Hamilton have been caring for Jasmine at their South Park home since being released from the hospital, finding creative ways to make up for the lack of equipment, such as a neck brace to keep her neck straight and keep the ventilator out. trach, which keeps the airways open to allow air to enter and exit the lungs, to exit. In its place, a hair extension is attached taut to the back of the chair.

And the house is structurally unsuitable for Hamilton’s needs. It does not have a ramp and needs to be leveled.

In addition, the family lacks adequate transportation, such as a van equipped with a disability, for their weekly medical trips to Houston or just to get out of the house.

“She has to go out instead of being home 24 hours a day,” Turner said.

For over a year, Hamilton was trapped inside his body and his home; and with Turner forced to quit her 25-year job at Turner Industries to provide constant care, the financial burden increases.

Turner’s insurance bore the brunt of the medical bills as the driver was uninsured. It has since run out, with Hamilton’s medical bills “in the trillions,” she said.

The electric bill alone is daunting, averaging $ 700 per month with Hamilton’s fan running around the clock.

The family story inspired Sheryl Richard-Jackson and members of her nonprofit It Takes A Village Beaumont to adopt the family this Christmas, providing toiletries, household items, clothes that can be adapted to accommodate Hamilton in his wheelchair condition and Suite.

Turner was initially skeptical of the gift.

Since her daughter’s return home, she had received many offers of help, including one from “a guy who showed up at the house one night and said he could build a ramp,” recalls. she.

He left promising to start labor the next day.

Turner never saw him again.

After that, “I didn’t trust anyone,” she said.

But on Monday, Jackson and villager Shirley Chachere kept their vow to help, arriving with two cars full of freebies and $ 1,125 in donations.

“We were still picking up donations this morning coming here,” Chachere said.

“And there’s more to come, because people are just late,” Jackson added.

“I know you’ve been told a lot and people haven’t come, but don’t worry you’ll have this ramp,” Jackson said as they gathered inside the house. Turner, where Hamilton’s medical bed was quickly overwhelmed by gift bags.

“If I tell you I’m going to do something, it’s going to happen.” I was on Facebook every day pushing and pushing, ”she told them while sharing Hamilton’s wishlist.

It included items that any 20-year-old could ask for on Christmas.

“Jasmine adores makeup, anything blingy and styling,” read Jackson’s post.

But there were other items on the list that were less likely to make a woman her age happy – paper towels, diapers, cleaning supplies.

“Oh, yeah, Puffs! Turner said, as she sorted through one of the bags, pulling out a stack of tissues. “These are the ones you love. “

“They’re sweet,” Hamilton said, before Turner opened a small bag from Zales containing a silver infinity bracelet.

“God is good,” said Turner, who admitted she was overwhelmed with need amid their financial struggles, especially over Christmas and with Hamilton’s 21st birthday a day after New Years’ Day.

While some items on Hamilton’s wishlist like a tablet weren’t met, Jackson told Hamilton, “Mum got you. She’s going to find this tablet. A mother’s love, all I can say is there is no such thing.

“I’m just a 24 hour mom,” Turner replied.

“You can never have too many resources, however,” said Chachere; before Jackson warns, “Take your time, don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t think it’s over. We will be there for you.

Jackson has already presented several offers to meet the most important needs of the family – a ramp for the house and a van.

Meanwhile, Turner is awaiting clearance for a procedure in Dallas to implant a diaphragmatic pacemaker, which will remove Hamilton’s ventilator.

“The less equipment we have to manage, the better,” said Turner. “We were supposed to have it in November, but we needed $ 50,000 more from the (ancillary) insurance to get started.”

It Takes A Village will help cover costs incurred while traveling for the procedure, Jackson promised.

After the operation, Hamilton will go directly to Houston’s TIRR program, which has been successful in restoring mobility to patients like Hamilton, who were paralyzed and told themselves they would never walk again.

“They help you rehabilitate different motor skills to make them work again,” Turner explained, adding, “A lot of people have come in wheelchairs and then come through the door.”

That’s what’s most important on Hamilton’s wishlist – the ability to walk again, to live out the dream of owning your own business, and someday, get married.

Jackson is confident the list will be filled as well.

“Not only are you gonna get married, but you’re gonna walk,” Jackson said to Hamilton smiling, adding, “Baby, we’re gonna walk together because I need a walking partner.”

Until that happens, Erin Turner remains grateful for her greatest blessing since that traumatic day in March 2020.

“I’m just happy to have my baby here, and as long as she’s happy I’m happy,” she said.

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