Coach on road to recovery
Published: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
Valentine’s Day is a day Joni Jones, 26, will not forget. She broke her neck in three places in an tumbling auto accident on I-40, said her mother, Kaylene Jones, on Tuesday. Kaylene Jones was interviewed by phone from her daughter’s hospital room in the intensive care unit at the University of New Mexico Heath Sciences Center in Albuquerque. On Feb. 16, Joni Jones had surgery and titanium bolts and plates were used to make the repairs, said Kaylene Jones. Since the accident Joni Jones has not been able to move her legs. On Tuesday, the medical staff “told us her reflexes were good. That’s promising,” said Kaylene Jones, adding that she expected her daughter to go into rehab soon. Joni, said Kaylene Jones, has said, “I’m not going to let this get me down, I’ll be back playing ball.” For the past two years, Joni Jones has been “Coach Jones,” for the basketball and volleyball teams at Tucumcari Middle School and a substitute teacher. Students in her classes and on her teams have been sending cards. And a collection was started at the schools to help the family’s expenses. A dance and drawing benefit is also being planned. “We appreciate all that the community is doing. She brightens up when she sees the cards. She draws her strength from each card,” said Kaylene Jones.
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