One moment can change one’s path forever. Good Hope eighth-grader John David Johnson had that moment on New Year’s Eve.
On December 31, 2017 Johnson and some friends were using fireworks to celebrate the coming new year when a artillery firework shell exploded in Johnson’s hand.
The explosion caused severe damage to his right hand.
Johnson was rushed to St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe and later air lifted to Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi where he went through a lot of surgery and treatment.
The middle finger and ring finger of JD had to be amputated, but Johnson and his family received a miracle at the same time.
“They told us they could not save the thumb either and we said ‘no, save the thumb’,” Kayla Johnson, mother of JD, said. “They told us it was less than 1 percent chance they would be able to save the thumb.”
With the room filled with prayers and love, the family soon learned the color was coming back to the thumb and it was not going to be amputated after all.
JD admits the injury “still hurts some” but the pain the family has endured physically and mentally has been eased by the incredible support and love shown by the Good Hope Middle School families and administration. When JD returned to school this week, many teachers and students were wearing special t-shirts in his honor.
Carrie Sellers of the Good Hope Colonel Club got together with a group of students and worked with the store Reflections to design and sell shirts of which almost 300 were purchased to show the love to the Johnson family.
“It meant a lot to me,” JD said. “It was overwhelming really and it made me tear up a little bit.”
And now there is no telling how much progress JD can make.
He is already learning to write with his left hand and doing Occupational Therapy while his right hand heals. The doctors will explore possibly more surgery down the line, but he will be able to rejoin the football and powerlift teams at a later date.
Kayla said the family could not thank Sellers enough for all she has done and all the doctors and nurses as well as GHMS staff and everyone who has given support to the family at this time.
“I can tell you that his dad and I have been overwhelmed with the support, all his coaches calling and texting me to check on him,” Kayla recalled. “His friends and they came over here every day to see him. Some came to Jackson to see him. We have not cooked a meal since then with people bringing food. Stephanie Wilkes, the librarian at Good Hope. She made sure he had work his school work on the computer. He gets straight A’s and she knew that would be important to him to stay up with his school work. And all that Carrie Sellers did organizing with the shirts. I would be remiss if I didn't thank her."
"It was literally God and our faith that has gotten us through all of this. All glory to our Lord and Savior."