Meridian Star

Local News

January 4, 2012

Standing vigil

MERIDIAN —     When Christie Boswell's voice comes over the phone, two things are evident.

    She is tired but she is hopeful.

    "Until all my children are home, safe, I won't give up," said Boswell, talking from the Intensive Care Unit at Anderson's Regional Medical Center where her 18-year-old son, Michael Joyner, is fighting for his life. "Home isn't home until they are all there."

    Joyner was injured Saturday night in a horrific crash that took the life of 73-year-old Joan Jackson, severely injured Joyner and sent two others to local hospitals. He has been unconscious and on a ventilator since the accident. Boswell said a CAT scan Tuesday would hopefully show there is no bleeding or brain swelling.

    "He is in critical condition," Boswell said. "But God didn't take him immediately so I have to believe he will pull through. This is just something we have to endure."

    Joyner is a senior at Southeast Lauderdale High School. Boswell said the amount of get well cards and the number of well wishers who have come to her side, in addition to Joyner's family members, has been a great support structure to lean on. But she is tired. At times she is afraid that prayers won't be enough to pull her son out of this. Then there are those moments when she digs in her heels and insists everything will turn out for the best.

    "I can't help but think he will open his eyes and I'll be standing there," Boswell said. "I pray to God that is what will happen."

    According to the preliminary accident report, Joyner was in the backseat, passenger side of the vehicle driven by Charles Jackson, Joan Jackson's husband. Cody Holcombe, 14, was sitting behind Charles Jackson as he attempted to cross the northbound lanes of Highway 19 South onto Scruggs Road, officials said. Then the collision happened.

    "Michael had been visiting Cody who is the Jackson's great-grandson," said Boswell. "We don't live too far from each other and Charles Jackson said they would just hop over and drop Michael off."

    Boswell said there is a small hill just south of the crash location and it hid the vehicle coming north. The impact was on the passenger side of the Jackson's vehicle where Joan Jackson and Joyner sat. Charles Jackson suffered some broken ribs. Cody Holcombe sustained moderate injuries. The occupants of the other vehicle, said officials, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

    Now, Boswell has to drive past the location where the crash occurred. The place where already one good friend has died.

    "We're still fighting," Boswell said of herself and for Joyner. "He's young and strong. He has that going for him. He has all these people pulling for him. That will help. And God has the love and prayers of a mother to consider."

    The test results from Tuesday will go a long way in determining just what is happening with Joyner. Boswell said as of Tuesday morning her son was running a low grade fever but nothing the family should be overly concerned about.

    "We are waiting and praying the tests will show he isn't getting worse, only better," Boswell said. "As for me, I haven't been home since this happened and I'm not going home without all my children. I'm here for however long it takes."

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