‘Every bit counts’: Jones family shares update as community rallies behind them
Wichita, Kan. (KAKE)- A three-day fundraiser organized by a Spangles general manager managed to raised $17,100 to support the Nickerson family.
On July 5, four members of the Jones family were in Louisville, Kentucky for Nickerson High School basketball star AAU tournament when police say a driver under the influence of opioids hit them with his car.
Trey Jones, husband and father, died days later in a Kentucky hospital. Creek Jones suffered a few minor cuts and scrapes, but was otherwise fine. Amy, Trey’s wife, and Ava Trey’s daughter suffered more serious injuries. With traumatic brain injuries and several broken bones, doctors told the Jones family the pairs injuries could be life changing.
"They're still in rehab,” said Hunter Jones, the oldest of the Jones siblings. “And we're still, and I'm still going through paperwork that's being sent to the house."
Hunter Jones spent weeks with his family in Kentucky before returning home to Kansas to look after Creek last week. He said his mother and sister have made a lot of progress.
"They were just recently able to eat real food,” said Hunter Jones.
Their progress has been documented in a Facebook group called Jones Family Updates, where family members share milestones and the community shares fundraisers and sympathies.
“I think it was relatable,” said Spangles Director of Operations Rene Steven. “I think this family, everyone can relate to being on vacation with their family, being on a street corner and oh my gosh this could happen to anybody."
That’s one reason Steven believes a Spangles General Manager, Tiffany Ramsey, decided to organize a fundraiser to support the Jones family. That fundraiser also organized to help bring Ava and Amy back to Kansas.
“I’m gonna go big or go home,” said Ramsey, when explaining to KAKE News why she decided to take up the challenge.
The fundraiser asked Kansans to visit any Spangles restaurant over the course of three days in order to raise $10,000 in donations for Ava and Amy Jones. Ramsey said she was surprised when it raised almost twice that amount.
"It's amazing seeing all the locals that supported this family,” said Ramsey.
Hunter Jones told KAKE News the money will be used to help with paying the family’s medical bills and for making improvements to the family’s home to accommodate their needs.
My mom is going to have to be in a wheelchair for four to six weeks,” said Hunter Jones.
Hunter Jones said that Ava’s prognosis is looking much better, with the basketball star more than likely expected to be able to walk on her own by their expected return August 17.
Hunter Jones also broke the news of his father’s death to both his mother and his sister.
“Mom, it was hard for her for a few days she's brightened up a lot." said Hunter Jones. "I told Ava too. She knows but she can't necessarily comprehend it as well."
Hunter Jones said that Ava’s struggle is linked to a traumatic brain injury she sustained during the crash. He said he can tell she’s sad, but that he’s thankful his sister is alive and that his family is thankful for their community’s support.
“Every bit counts so, and we can't thank them enough for everything,” said Hunter Jones.
Another positive update to share as well, Hunter said the University of Iowa, where Ava committed to playing basketball has offered her a full ride scholarship regardless of the outcome of her recovery.