‘Family support is essential’: Community helping Hanover couple after spinal cord injury

The friends of a Hanover couple contact 12 On Your Side as they navigate life following a spinal cord injury.
Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT
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HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - The friends of a Hanover couple are working to support them as they navigate life following a spinal cord injury.

“God has been so wonderful to us, and so we try hard to keep that in the forefront and not dwell on the fact that we had this horrible, well, several horrible things happen to us at one time,” said Brenda Jones.

In April 2023, a fall at home changed Brenda Jones’ life.

“Brenda lost her balance and fell and injured her cervical spine in such a way that she’s not able to use her legs,” explained Brenda’s husband, Berk. “She can use her arms, but she can’t clasp her hands like she wants to, and she wants to get back to working on the computer and crocheting and cooking and doing things like that.”

Brenda Jones
Brenda Jones(Jones Family)

After weeks in the hospital and a rehabilitation center, Brenda returned home, but their medical bills continued to pile up.

“We’re kind of old. It’s going to be hard for us to pay that back before we go to be with God because it’s very expensive to get big-time help,” said Brenda.

Brenda says her time at Sheltering Arms Institute: Physical Rehabilitation Hospital will always stay with her. As Brenda has continued her recovery, she has been grateful for the support she and her husband have received.

Brenda Jones
Brenda Jones(Family)

“It was a wonderful experience, really. I still think about those [healthcare providers] and wish I could see them every day,” she said. “The people who have helped us so much are basically every age group. We have gotten support from people we don’t even know. That has been significant to us.”

The couple says they were fortunate also to get support from a nonprofit, which installed a ramp at the home, but they still had to sell two cars to buy an accessible van.

“We’re spending money that we didn’t expect to spend on expenses that we weren’t prepared for,” said Berk.

Berk and Brenda Jones have helped others for most of their lives and careers.

Brenda and Berk Jones
Brenda and Berk Jones(Family)

Brenda retired to take care of her grandkids after 30 years as a teacher in Henrico and Hanover. Berk’s career spanned from the Henrico County Sheriff’s office to an advanced life support provider for the Richmond Airport, and he has been a member of the Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad for 25 years.

“My partners on the rescue squad, the Mintons, they were responsible for establishing a gofundme page which I never even thought about,” explained Berk.

The community has raised more than $10,000 in the last two months. Ashland Rescue Squad friends reached out to 12 On Your Side, hoping to help them by reaching $50,000. Berk and Brenda say they were blown away when someone contacted 12 On Your Side to share what the Jones family has been through.

I pray that anybody that would go through a situation like this would have the support of their family because it’s essential,” said Berk.

If you want to donate to the family, click this link.