Fundraisers have been scheduled and donations continue to be accepted for the family of Zephyr High School 17-year-old junior Jessica Armour, who was severely injured in an automobile accident on County Road 590 Saturday night and remains at Fort Worth Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital.
An account has been established at both Prosperity Bank locations in Brownwood and Early. Also, from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Diamond R Store and Cafe in Zephyr, a spaghetti fundraiser will be held. The cost of the meal is a donation. There is also an online account at YouCaring.com that is accepting donations. The link is https://www.youcaring.com/jessica-armour-574587#.V0NriIwadmo.facebook.
Armour is currently recovering from numerous broken bones and remained unconscious as of noon Wednesday, according to family friend and Zephyr FFA teacher Michael Hunter.
“She suffered a lacerated spleen and they had to perform emergency surgery to repair that in Brownwood due to bleeding in the stomach,” Hunter said. “Her left arm is broken, her right collarbone is broken, and she has several broken ribs. She does have some chips in her spine but her spinal cord was not affected.”
Though Armour has not regained consciousness since the accident, she continues to improve, Hunter said. The unconscious state is believed to be caused by shearing in the brain, which occurs when tissue slides over tissue and causes lesions that are responsible for unconsciousness.
“Monday they ran an MRI and they knew there were blood spots on the brain, but they were looking for what they call shearing in the brain and the MRI did detect there was some,” Hunter said. “The doctor gave us his thoughts today and said Jessica is making progress. From the time she came in Sunday when he first saw her, the doctor thinks everything is moving forward. It's going to be a long process, but he's seen a lot of positives. Her lungs are getting color back in them, which is a good sign, and there's been movement with her arms and legs.”
Hunter, who is in his fourth year at Zephyr, has known the Armour family since his days in Lindale, where he spent 10 years as ag teacher.
“Jessica was in my program when I was in Lindale, but at the time she was 9 years old and in my junior program,” Hunter said. “When we moved here, her dad called me one day after they'd been down to visit and said Jessica wanted me to be her ag teacher when she gets to high school. He asked if we had any problems with them moving out here and I said of course not. He had a business, but he sold it and they moved down here.”
Hunter drove Jessica's father, Robert, to the hospital in Fort Worth while her mother, Teresa, accompanied her in the helicopter from Brownwood Regional Medical Center, and the Zephyr ag teacher has been on site ever since.
“It's been really hard on my family since she grew up around us,” Hunter said.
Hunter added that while ag is Jessica's passion, her interests vary greatly.
“She's so involved in everything, not just ag,” Hunter said. “Ag is her heartbeat, she does livestock judging, but she's been a varsity cheerleader, she goes to church at the Zephyr Baptist Church and this year she was our youth fair queen representative in Zephyr.”
And Jessica has made an immeasurable number of friends based on the amount of visitors she's received at the hospital.
“We've had 15 or so kids here everyday here at the hospital to support her and the family,” Hunter said. “And it's not just Zephyr kids. We've had kids from Brownwood, Early, Blanket, and all over to show up. It's pretty unreal the support they've received. She's a special young lady and she's touched lots of kids.”