HOUSTON – A deadly accident in January in Liberty County devastated a family.
The surviving members of the family said they are fighting through it together. The community is helping with the recovery, hosting a fundraiser to help raise money for a 17-year-old survivor who is making strides in recovery.
"Any time you got God on your side, you got a lot of strength," Debra Henson, a Tarkington mother, said. "[Jordan is] a fighter. She always has been."
The day Henson's daughter was born was the day she started believing in miracles.
"I was told initially that I couldn't have kids, and then I had [Jordan]," Henson said.
Jordan Hensen is again overcoming challenging odds. In Houston, she underwent surgery and is getting physical therapy for her injuries.
"Jordan was involved in an automobile accident on the 23rd of January," Debra Henson said.
Her whole family was involved. Jan. 23 was a day of incredible grief for the Hensons and their loved ones. Henson's three daughters, husband and granddaughter were on their way to Bible study when an SUV hit them head-on.
Jordan Henson, then 16, and Henson's stepdaughter, Brianna Henson, 24, were the only two survivors. Debra Henson lost her daughter, Jessee Henson, 16; her husband, Mark Henson, 57; and her granddaughter, Lilly, then 4 years old, who was Brianna Henson's daughter. Debra Henson told KPRC that she and Brianna are taking things day by day.
"It's a big thing to bury three people at once. It's a big thing for my daughter. Brianna has to deal with the fact that she was in the car and driving when all of that happened," Debra Henson said. "Even the report came back and showed it was not Brianna's fault."
Henson said they depend on God for encouragement. Each day is a step in a long process of healing.
"There are days that we're really strong, and there are days that we're not, and on those days, we say a lot more prayer," Henson said.
However, what inspires her is the fight she sees in her daughters.
"They had to restart [Jordan's] heart at the scene of the accident. Her heart had stopped beating," Henson said.
Doctors told Henson that Jordan Hensen would, at best, survive in a vegetative state on a ventilator.
"We already beat the ventilator, and we already beat the feeding tube," Henson said. "She's doing really well today. She's what they call minimally conscious, which means she can do some rational thinking for herself."
After brain trauma, two broken femurs and facial reconstruction, Jordan Hensen is now in physical, occupational and speech therapy.
"Whenever the doctor tells me, 'Well, we don't know if she'll be able to do this,' my first words are, 'Well, you don't know she can't,'" Debra Henson said.
Henson said the community response has been incredible. Students and community leaders in their former hometown, Midlothian, are organizing an anti-bullying fundraiser to raise awareness of bullying and raise funds for Jordan Hensen's recovery.
Students from Jordan Hensen's high school had contacted the Henson family.
"They had a project and wanted to do it on bullying, and they wanted to use Jordan as a poster child. They said, 'We're going to be selling rubber bracelets and doing a rally, and we'd like to use Jordan's story,'" Debra Henson said. "I had to pray about it because [high school] was a very difficult time for Jordan. It had her so upset at one point that she was vomiting so much so that she tore her esophagus. Luckily, we had a very good family doctor who said, 'That's it. No more.'"
Henson saw the value in fighting bullying with education. She said yes. Soon enough, the event grew. The event will have workshops on bullying with Midlothian police as well as food, drink and entertainment. The event goes from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Main Street Gym in Midlothian. The Cody Bryan band will be performing, among others. Proceeds will go to Jordan Hensen's medical expenses.
"The most wonderful thing is going on on Saturday (May 4). I am just so grateful that people have such kindness in their hearts," Henson said. "It's just grown by leaps and bounds."
Henson said she is proud of her daughters. She hopes that Jordan Hensen's miraculous recovery inspires others to stay strong.
"You are God's hands and feet, and He uses people to bless people," Debra Henson said. "[Jordan] is just strong and not a quitter."
The fundraiser will take place at the Main Street Gym at 1000 E. Main St., #205, Midlothian, TX 76065.