Three children who were seriously injured in a car crash that killed their parents and baby sister are on an “incredible journey” of recovery in Fort Worth, their grandmother said.
The children were returning from church April 7 near San Angelo when an oncoming car jumped the center median and careened head-on into their SUV. Their parents, Jim and Karisa Clemens, and their 7-week-old sister, Juliana, were killed.
Their grandmother, Susan Skillicorn, rushed from her home in Houston to Cook Children’s Medical Center to be by their side. She hasn’t left the hospital since.
"It's been an incredible journey but it's just starting,” Skillicorn said. “I'm looking so forward to being a light in their future because they warm my heart."
Photos posted on a Facebook fundraising page of the children holding hands have tugged at strangers’ emotions and brought the family more than $160,000 in donations.
Wyatt, 4, suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed but could be released from the hospital as early as next week.
"He actually is walking now," his grandmother said.
Angela, 8, had broken legs, a fractured skull, and brain injuries.
"Now she can actually read. She can read!” Skillicorn said. “And they say they're amazed at the miracles that have happened."
Zachery, 5, faces the most challenges: Internal injuries. A broken back. Bruised lungs.
Their grandmother says she'll be there for all of them.
"I learned a long time ago, you either rise above and make it a better situation or you can choose to be caught up in the drama and the sadness and not help anybody,” she said. “And for this, the story is a beautiful story of love and hope and a good and a fresh future. That is the story and for that I am grateful."
The three children are in separate rooms but nurses sometimes allow them to see each other to discuss the tragedy.
"Angie said, 'I'm so glad that we're all still together and that none of us died,” their grandmother shared. “This is stuff they're saying and telling each other."
Another sibling, 4-year-old Nicholas, also was in the crash but suffered only minor injuries.
Skillicorn said she is grateful for the prayers and support of people who are touched by the family’s tragedy.
"I hope the message is love your little ones,” she said. “Take them and hug them because there is no guarantee for tomorrow. There is just no guarantee."