2 minutes reading time (418 words)

Siblings Reunited After Crash that Killed their Parents

On April 7th, Alan and Karisa Clemens along with their five young children were returning from church. Another driver, in a Chevrolet Tahoe, lost control and struck their family vehicle.

Alan, Karisa, and their 2 month old baby girl Juliana were all instantly killed. The Clemens' four other children, Angela, 8, Zachary, 5, Wyatt, 4, and Nicholas, 2, survived with injuries ranging from minor to severe.

Angela, 8, sustained major head injuries and was in a coma for an extended period following the wreck. Zachary, 5, sustained a broken back while Wyatt, 4, had multiple strokes after the crash. Wyatt also suffered brain injuries and was temporarily paralyzed on his left side. Nicholas, 2, only suffered minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital just days after the accident.

After weeks of intensive care, Angela and Zachary were able to be reunited in the hospital for the first time last week. They are able to touch each other for the first time since the accident.

Teresa Burrell, the children's aunt and sister to Karisa said, "This was the first time that they saw each other since the accident. They had been separated, but were going into physical therapy at the same time."

Although they have a long way for their recovery, being together has helped the children to have a better recovery. It gives them encouragement and strength, they grieve together, but they are also very happy when they are together.

Teresa set up a fundraiser on Facebook to help with the costs that the family faces. At the time of this release, over $190,000 has been donated. "Initially I put it out there to pay for the funeral costs because three funerals are expensive," she said. "I was worried about the medical costs as well. We've seen an outpouring of support from across the world. It's created positive things in a really hard situation. When I did the fundraiser we didn't know if they'd ever walk again. The brain damage was so severe for Angela that we didn't know if she'd ever speak again. Then she said her first words. Yesterday, she was so excited to show me that she had written her name, and she could remember how to spell her name. Angela told me, 'I'm so grateful we're still alive and we can be together.' For an eight-year-old to say that, where a week ago we didn't know if she'd ever be able to speak again, is great! The support the children give to each other. That's been so touching."

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Monday, 27 January 2020

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