According to his mother Jan, Dublin native Nickey Jones, 44, has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, as do his family and friends after he survived a three-car collision last Thursday.
“Nickey is doing as well as can be expected considering his injuries and other unrelated health issues,” Jan said. “But we are very pleased with the prognosis.”
Jan, and those who pulled her son from the remains of his wrecked Ford Ranger, believe it is nothing less than a miracle that he survived.
“We feel like the Lord really likes having him around,” Jan said saying the family, including Jones’ father Lane, sisters Teresa Wall and Becky Reeder and brother Lance, has always been close. “He has many angels looking out for him.”
As a result of the collision, Jones suffered a broken foot, ankle and two vertebrae.
The first bit of good news since the wreck came when doctors at Dallas Methodist Hospital determined Jones would not have to undergo surgery, but he will be wheelchair bound while his bones heal.
Jones’ blessings don’t stop there. As a rural route carrier for the Stephenville Post Office, he is part of a tight-knit group of federal employees who are willing to lend a helping hand.
Postmaster Lisa Montfort said when Jones’ coworkers were informed of his condition, they quickly rallied to help him, his wife Heather and daughters Kline and London during his recovery.
“He is going to have a lot of down time,” Montfort said.
But after two previous organ transplants and other health issues including heart problems, Montford said Jones has “exhausted a big portion of his earned leave.” Meaning he would not be paid for time missed following the accident.
An added benefit of working for the postal service allows employees to donate their paid leave to coworkers facing time away from work to deal with health issues. The benefit kicks in once the employee has been on leave for more than two weeks.
Jones’ coworkers have already dedicated a large portion of their leave to help Jones and have banned together to raise funds to cover the period without pay.
“He would go one full pay period with no income,” Montfort said. “We collected funds from coworkers to cover that two-week period. They wanted to do everything they could and donate anything they had to help Nickey’s family make ends meet.”
The effort to help Jones may not stop in Stephenville. Montfort said the USPS’s district offices post notices of all employees needing leave time donations, and Jones could get help from postal employees across the region.
Jones’ healing will not stop with the mending of his recent injuries. Doctors have told him he will have to undergo heart surgery to replace or repair a damaged valve. But Jan is confident that her son will fare well with his angels looking over him, and believes that his faith will see him through everything he has to endure.
“We strongly believe in the power of prayer,” Jan said. “And Nickey has always believed the Lord will be there to help through whatever comes his way.”