When Justin Exum’s vehicle hydroplaned in December on Highway 271 coming home from work near Mount Pleasant, it left his family devastated.
The 34-year old Deport resident and sole provider for a wife and three young children spent almost a month at Medical Center Plano, suffering from 22 broken bones, brain injuries and a severe burn to his left shoulder and arm.
“It was touch and go there at first for all of us,” wife Courtney Exum said. “Because Justin has such a positive attitude and the children see him functioning, things are better now.”
Now receiving rehabilitation, the licensed plumber is expected to be off work up to two years as bones heal and he regains the use of his arm after it suffered severe nerve damage.
“He’s left-handed and is having to learn to eat, write his name and brush his teeth,” his wife said. “It’s been a learning curve, that’s for sure.”
Sherry Yeatman, Justin’s mother, said the word she received Dec. 13 “was a mother’s worst nightmare.”
“But through my belief I knew the Lord would not put more on my family we could stand,” she said. “During those first two weeks we truly saw a miracle from above.”
Courtney Exum said the love and support the family has received from friends and neighbors “has just been amazing” and “we are so appreciative.”
A group of friends, many from the family’s church home at Cowboy Church in the Camp in Reno, is planning a benefit with live and silent auctions March 10 from noon until 5 p.m. at The Elks Lodge, 2110 36th St. NE in Paris.
Entertainers include Wade White, Stacy Musgrove, Merrol Ray and Adam Walker. The menu consists of pulled pork sandwiches, beans and chips. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 5.
Included in live auction items so far are a two-night cabin stay at Broken Bow, several guns, a two-person plane trip to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and a two-night stay at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. In addition, 100 chances for a dragster are being sold for $25 each.
Auction items and donations are being accepted at North Texas Fab, 5690 Lamar Road in Reno.