Branchville teen defies the odds in his recovery after losing leg in crash
BRANCHVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - A Branchville teen is defying the odds and making literal strides in his recovery less than two months after a horrific accident.
On October 27, 19-year-old Jayquan Abraham lost his left leg and suffered broken bones when he was hit by a car while walking along Highway 21 in Smoaks. That is a small town in Colleton County.
In the face of all the adversity he has faced, Jayquan carries himself with a sense of calmness, confidence, and positivity.
“I don’t look at it as I’m different from everybody,” he said. “We’re all the same.”
Jayquan said he remembers getting hit by the car and going in the air. He had no balance when he tried to stand up and immediately fell down.
Lying on the ground, he was thinking, “I don’t want to die, it’s not my time to die yet.”
“Get me in the car and get me to the hospital as quick as possible,” he said.
Jayquan was airlifted to Prisma Health Richland Hospital’s Trauma Center that night.
His mother, Lakisha Abraham, said her mind was racing when she received the call that her son had been hit.
“My mind was everywhere, it just was a lot,” she said. “It was hard to be strong, too hard to be weak because I had to be a momma. I had to be motivation to, not only Jayquan but to the rest of the kids because Jayquan also has three brothers that live in the house.”
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, he spent three days on a ventilator. He has undergone six surgeries following the accident.
Jayquan’s strength was evident at his prosthetic fitting appointment on Tuesday.
Typically during these appointments, modifications are made to the socket that will later be used for the prosthetic. Patients do not normally start walking right away, according to Tripp Rice, his prosthetist.
But the second the socket was fitted onto his leg, Jayquan was up and moving.
“He’s 19-year-old and he’s like a unicorn, man, he’s eager to get up and get walking,” Rice, who is also owner and CEO of AOPI Prosthetics and Orthotics, said.
Rice said the healing process can be difficult for above-knee amputees, but Jayquan is “one determined kid.”
“That’s half the success right there,” he said. “Prosthetics we have to fit them, yes we do, but a lot of it’s right here between the ears. And I think he’s got that, pretty sure of it.”
Jayquan said he is not surprised by his miraculous recovery timeline.
“I’ve been talking about it all week,” he said. “I’ve been ready to do this, ready to walk again. That’s all I’ve been talking about.”
Some doctors said that Jayquan would likely need at least three months in the hospital, and it would probably be half a year before he walked again.
Jayquan said he was undeterred by that initial prognosis.
“It’s not going to take that long,” he said. “Not at all. I’m not waiting six months to walk again. I’m trying to walk now. That’s how I was in the hospital. They told me my arm was broken. I was like, ‘No, I ain’t worrying about that. Let me get back to doing everything I wanted to do.’”
Until Jayquan is able to return to all the activities he enjoyed before the crash, he will keep forging ahead with faith and perspective.
“Keep your hand in God’s hand,” he said. “Don’t lose the faith.”
Lakisha said her son’s determination in the midst of this traumatic experience has inspired her, and she hopes his story will inspire others as well.
“Be motivated,” she said. “And as long as you’re motivated, with the help of the Good Lord, and most of the time, your support system, once you’ve got all those things in connection, you will be stronger.”
Jayquan said he hopes others facing adversity will be encouraged to never give up after hearing about his recovery.
“Keep on pushing like I did,” he said.
Despite his strength, Jayquan said the past two months have been arduous.
“It’s been hard,” he said. “It’s been emotionally, physically, mentally. Some nights I don’t sleep, some nights I do sleep. Some days are easy, some days are hard. Just go with the flow.”
In the last few weeks, Jayquan has been able to return to his passion: coaching basketball at Branchville High School, his alma mater. He said the students, along with his family, motivate him.
Lakisha said the financial burden is overwhelming. The family is selling “Jayquan Strong” wristbands and buttons, and they hope to hold several fundraisers in the coming months.
To help pay for Jayquan’s medical expenses and his prosthetic leg, his family has set up a GoFundMe.
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