Joy Cooper

Joy Cooper, 28, the sole survivor of a private plane crash in Alaska a fortnight ago, is on the road to recovery and may be returning to Texas in the near future, her family has said.

Now from Sterling, Virginia, the former Paris resident was on vacation with friends when the small plane crashed into a mountain, killing three other passengers. Pilot Michael Scott Christy, 73, and his wife, Jean Tam, 69,both from Anchorage, were killed, along with 29-year-old Suzanne Glass, also of Sterling.

“She is out of ICU and on the neurology floor where she can begin physical therapy to regain the neural pathways that were cut off due to a spinal injury,” her brother, Josiah Cooper, said Sunday, noting her spine surgery. “She was able to hold her own cup and drink out of straw for the first time today, and her voice is much stronger now that her chest tube was removed last week.”

He said his sister also has her phone back now and is connected to the rest of the world.

“She was able to review some of the many kind words that have been sent her way,” he said. “We are so very thankful for all the

support and prayers from so many people.”

A return to Texas is planned for continued treatment and to be closer to parents John and Lisa Cooper, formerly of Paris and now of Arlington. Plans depend on her progress and travel arrangements, her brother said.

Along with multiple wounds, Joy Cooper, a United Airlines zone control supervisor at Washington Dulles International Airport, suffered 13 fractures, including her spine, her extremities and two ribs, which punctured a lung.

A Caring Bridge site is available on social media where friends can stay informed about her condition at Donations are being accepted at

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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