By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
A local young girl may be going home from the hospital nearly a month to the day after she was seriously injured in a car accident.
“There’s a very good possibility that either Thursday or over the weekend, she’ll get to go home,” said Karen Miller, aunt to 12-year-old Jaden Jasper.
Miller said Jaden’s medical team is expected to meet with her today to determine whether she’ll be able to continue her arduous recovery at home in Somerset. This most recent news comes only days after Jaden was moved to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital from the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
“At first, they told us (Jaden) would be there two weeks,” said Miller. “Then they said she may go home this weekend. Now, it may be tomorrow.
“They just keep bumping her going home date up,” Miller added.
Jaden was severely injured on March 5 after the vehicle she was riding in on Pumphouse Road hit a fence line. Planks of the fence tore through the car’s interior, striking Jaden and her father James “Jimmy” Jasper, 56, who was driving when the accident happened.
Jimmy suffered a number of injuries, including a broken collarbone, broken clavicle, broken ribs, broken vertebrates, broken wrist, collapsed aorta, and a skull fracture. Jimmy has since been discharged from the hospital.
Jaden, a popular Northern Middle School student, suffered a depressed skull fracture, a broken eye socket, and a broken cheekbone. Doctors warned her family she may never be the same again, and she remained sedated for several days while medical experts debated what to do.
But on March 15, doctors were surprised to find, during reconstructive surgery, that Jaden hadn’t sustained significant brain injury in the accident. They said she would eventually be just fine.
By that point, Jaden had woken up, and she soon made leaps and bounds in her recovery. The popular Northern Middle School student began eating solid food again — her first meal was scrambled eggs, according to Miller — and she even walked on her own.
Miller said Jaden had started tackling reading all of the posts from local community members posted to “Prayers for Jaden” in support of her and her family. And the young girl is beginning to get antsy — she’s ready to return to school, and she’s worried about falling behind, said Miller.
“I just told her she’s going to move right on with the rest of the class,” said Miller, who spent the weekend up in Lexington with Jaden and the family.
Should Jaden be able to return to school this year, she’ll most likely have to attend for half-days until her strength returns, according to Miller.
Miller said there is still a long way yet to go. Jaden every day incurs three total hours of therapy — broken down into speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy — that leaves the young girl exhausted.
“She just drops in the bed (after therapy) and takes a two-hour nap,” said Miller.
That therapy will have to continue once Jaden returns home on an outpatient basis.
Questions still exist about how much damage was done to Jaden’s vision in her left eye, the eye with the broken eye socket. Miller said doctors thought she may not regain her vision in that eye, but Jaden, exceeding expectations again, began to see blurry figures through her left eye over the weekend.
“We’ve been really concentrating on and praying for her vision,” said Miller.
Jaden’s likely discharge from Cardinal Hill is an exciting one for the Jasper family, but a scary one as well. Miller said Jaden still needs lots of care.
But Jaden’s family and friends — including the thousands who have followed her recovery through the “Prayers for Jaden” Facebook page — are optimistic about what lies ahead for the young girl.
“We know how blessed we are that Jaden is doing as well as she is,” said Miller. “We believe fully she will have a complete recovery.”
A benefit for Jaden is scheduled for Saturday, April 13 at the Woodstock Community Center. The event, which begins at 8 a.m., will feature food, a yard sale, a car wash, face painting, live music and karaoke, and a silent auction in the evening. All proceeds will go to covering medical expenses.
Miller said Jaden will probably be able to attend the benefit for a short time as well.