On August 17, 2007, the lives of many people changed. Our beloved Jackie was traveling to her last day of the summer internship at Sewell Lexus in Dallas when she was struck by a drunk driver less than a mile from her home on a section of 380 that was under construction. Although we thought we had lost her, Jackie battled back to touch the lives of many. Here is her story from her aunt’s point of view.
When Jackie wasborn, the whole family marveled at her beauty inside and out. Being the firstgrandchild on her mom’s side, we took turns spoiling her rotten. She had aninfectious smile and an outgoing personality. Everyone that met her, instantly fell in love.
As she grew, she became a leader. She was comfortable being on center stage. Whether it be instudent council, cheerleading or in beauty pageants, Jackie excelled and enjoyed whatever life had to offer. Service was also a big part of her life.She attended countless mission trips, was a decorated Girl Scout and volunteered in church and in the community. She also worked at the Magic Pony and at Fit &Wise teaching swimming lessons to children. Wherever she went, she never met a stranger, being a role model for many young ladies, including my own daughters.
Jackie graduated among the top of her class from Decatur High School. She had worked very hard and by the time she was 20 years old, she was a senior at Texas A&M whereshe was majoring in marketing. Jackie was also very involved with student government and recruitment. She loved the college life, but was looking forward to
graduation so that she could start her own clothing store, and her own family. On Aug. 17, those plans were destroyed by the careless act of a drunk driver. The impact of the crash caused Jackie’s brain to shift and she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Jackie slipped into a coma and remained "asleep" for several months.
While she was "sleeping" she still managed to impact lives. The Wise Countycommunity surrounded the Murphree family with an out-pouring of love and faiththat shook even the hardest heart. Priorities changed. Families became closer. Rivals put down their differences. Some found the Lord. And some made the
decision to get sober and put down the bottle.
Jackie came home in December of 2007. The community helped build a room for her in the rent house that the family is living in. Although her dad is the main caregiver, friends and family still visit on a regular basis, helping the family deal with this tragedy. There has also been many fund-raisers to help the family with the medical bills and therapy costs. The family remains humbled by the out-pouring of love this community has shown. Decatur, Wise County and beyond has made it easier to always believe in the power of prayer and "expect miracles."
I know for many, including myself, the question WHY? never leaves my mind. However, when you look at the big picture, some of those "whys" are answered on a daily basis. Who else could have made such an impact? Who else could have mended relationships and brought families and communities together? Who else could have spread such a powerful message without speaking a word?
Now, with this new therapy in China, Jackie answers another Why. Maybe, she is supposed to
bring attention to the hope that lies within stem cell therapy. Maybe, she is leading the way for bigger and better things for all brain injury victims. And maybe, just maybe, she will spread the "expect miracles" world wide.