Rustburg, VA - A car wreck in North Carolina on July 2 took the life of a Rustburg man's wife and left him paralyzed.
Jamie Johnson, 29, is still recovering in the hospital more than three weeks after an 18-wheeler hit his car head-on. His two children were in the back seat. They are home now, but they're without a mother and with a father still suffering.
Johnson's home isn't wheelchair accessible, and he's going to be out of work for months if not years to come as he recovers.
"The grief itself is more than I can bear," said Betty Denson, Johnson's mother-in-law.
Denson is taking care of her grandchildren as their father recovers in the hospital. Their mother, Denson's daughter, was killed in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer.
"I can't even look at my daughters pictures, not yet. If anybody's ever lost a daughter or a son, the grief is so deep. It's like a wound that's not healing" she said.
Daily conversations with Johnson help her through the day. He's paralyzed from the waist down, has a broken neck, arm, nose, a shattered leg, and a fractured back.
"I have been in the hospital since the 2nd of July when our wreck occurred. I can't use my hands or my feet," said Johnson from his hospital bed in a phone call.
His 9-year-old daughter Anna spent nearly two weeks in the hospital. Her leg is broken in two places.
"I see sadness in her a lot. She won't talk to us about anything" said Denson.
But occasionally there is a rare smile as Anna and her brother Ethan wait for their father to return home.
"He misses them a lot. He begged for us to bring them up there today, and we are" said Denson.
His kids saw him for the first time in more than a week on Friday. And even though Johnson isn't home yet, work to make his house wheelchair accessible has already begun.
A fund has been set up in the family's name. If you'd like to donate, you can contact relative Chris Thomas at (434) 665-5838.