Two men flown to out-of-town medical centers following a head-on collision between all-terrain vehicles more than two weeks ago remain hospitalized, family members say.
While one of the men is in fair condition and showing improvement, the other, Leon Jose III, has yet to regain consciousness and remains in a Dallas hospital recovering from severe head trauma sustained in the Feb. 20 crash.
Both Jose, who is active in the Naval Reserve, and his stepbrother, Mark Davenport, were flown from County Road 4763 to trauma centers following the crash. Davenport remained at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler Tuesday, but was said to be improving. A hospital spokesperson said he was in fair condition Tuesday morning.
Jose, however, is still at Parkland Hospital in “very critical condition from massive head trauma,” according to Evelyn Jose, his aunt.
The 25-year-old served four years in the Navy and has been in the Navy Reserves for the past two years. As an active member of the reserves, Leon III is periodically required to attend training sessions. He had returned home from arms training on Feb. 16, just four days before the crash. He was taking criminal justice classes and had no insurance.
Evelyn Jose describes her nephew as always being a “a good boy, a good child,” who was always respectful, helpful and disciplined. He was born in California, but eventually ended up in Greenville, where his grandfather lived. He lives here with his father’s sisters, Lisa and Debra Jose, and in the same house as Evelyn. Leon III had just lost his mother, Barbara of Wisconsin, to cancer within the last six months. He also has a sister, Markita, who still lives in Wisconsin.
Leon III has yet to regain consciousness, and while the diagnosis is bleak, the team attending him said the fact that he’s responsive to neurological checks is a positive thing, Evelyn said.
Leon III has a condition called “shearing of the brain,” which doctors explained to family was “worse than shaken baby syndrome” in that his brain is “almost detached from the stem.”
His aunt said that based on research information they’ve received about shearing of the brain, whether he will awake is uncertain.
“They said a small percentage do come back,” she added. “He’s in God’s hands right now.”
Leon III, who receives nourishment through a feeding tube, has hematoma, or bleeding on part of his brain caused by inner cranial pressure. A tube was inserted to drain fluid from and relieve pressure on his brain. That has been removed, but “he’s not out of harm’s way” yet. He’s also being administered antibiotics as a cold he had contracted prior to his injured worsened into pneumonia.
Evelyn Jose asks for family, friends and the community’s continued prayers for her brother Leon II’s son.
“Please pray for him. He needs it,” she said. “The doctor’s don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Evelyn also said her brother has been at the hospital with his only son since the crash.
“He has not left his son’s side since this happened,” Evelyn said. “He’s taken it really hard. This is his only son. For six days he didn’t eat or sleep. I’m worried about him, too.”
The crash was reported to authorities at 10 p.m. Feb. 20, but family members are still waiting to hear what actually occurred that night, Evelyn Jose said.
As for what exactly happened in the crash, Evelyn said her family has heard several different “rumors” but have neither had an opportunity to talk with authorities who investigated the incident nor speak with all of the people who were there when the crash occurred.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Cori Hale, the crash investigator, has yet to turn in the completed report and could not be reached for comment. He is not slated to be back on duty until later this week, according to DPS officials.
Family and friends seeking updates on the condition and prognosis of Leon Jose III can call his father, Leon Jose II, at 903-348-3087.
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