Northern student expected to make full recovery from horrific car accident
By JEFF NEAL, CJ News Editor Commonwealth Journal
The number of people praying for 12-year-old Jaden Jasper are staggering.
Yesterday, those prayers were answered.
Surgeons at the University of Kentucky Medical Center told Jaden’s family members that they were “close to 100 percent certain” that the Northern Middle School seventh-grader would suffer no brain damage from a horrific car crash she was involved in less than two weeks ago.
“It’s unbelievable ... It’s a miracle,” said Karen Miller, Jaden’s aunt.
Jaden and her father, James “Jimmy” Jasper, 56, were both injured on Tuesday, March 5, after the SUV they were in crashed through a fence on Pumphouse Road.
The planks from the fence tore through the car, striking both Jimmy and Jaden.
Most of the damage was to Jaden’s forehead, above her left eye, where she suffered a depressed skull fracture in the spot where she sustained a direct hit from the plank. A depressed skull fracture is characterized by a bone break — usually caused by blunt force trauma — in which the bone pushes inward.
The injury, ironically, may have worked in Jaden’s favor in this case — the brain swelling was naturally reduced, limiting the amount of injury to the brain.
“Basically, the doctor said the brain injury she has is less than a concussion ... it’s more like a contusion, which is seen in many less severe auto accidents,” said Miller. “It looks like she will make a full cognitive recovery. Praise the Lord.”
Doctors also feared Jaden’s injuries might take extensive reconstruction to repair. The family received good news on that front as well — the skull fracture will be able to be repaired without a lot of extensive surgery, and Jaden’s eye socket was intact. Had it been shattered — as feared —it would have taken hours of delicate surgery to reconstruct.
“She has about four hours of plastic surgery that has to be done to repair her cheekbone,” Miller said. “We thought there might be extensive reconstruction needed, so this is a huge prayer answered.”
Miller added that doctors are also optimistic that sight in her left eye will be restored.
Jaden, who turns 13 next month, woke up for the first time on Thursday night and actually communicated with her relatives.
“We were hopeful because she seemed so much better last night,” Miller said. “She tried to smile and she waved at me.
“I said, ‘Welcome back.’ She squeezed our hands so hard,” Miller added. “She saw two walls in her room filled with cards, and one of her T-shirts. She pointed at them ...”
Since a “Prayers for Jaden” page was started on Facebook, thousands of people from around the world have followed the Pulaski girl’s gallant battle.
Miller feels those thousands of prayers have been heard.
“We’ve had people from Africa, New Zealand and England praying for Jaden,” Miller said. “So many small children have prayed for her and I know God especially listens to small children’s prayers. God has had His hand in all of this.
“It’s been so emotional for us today,” Miller added. “I could just see all these angels hovering around Jaden and her surgeons today. I think that’s what these prayers have done for Jaden.”
What was seen as a very dire situation less than two weeks ago has turned into a story of love, hope and survival.
“The doctors think she’ll be fine ... God had a plan for this little girl,” Miller said. “She’s the type of person who loves everyone and everyone loves her.
“I think she’ll have a very amazing story to tell.”