Justin Carey underwent his sixth surgery Monday at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center after a serious infection spread to his leg.
“It’s been a long and emotional day,” said his mother Janette Chumley.
Carey, 16, had both of his femurs broken and both femoral arteries severed on June 10 when he was hit by a Nissan Maxima at the intersection of Northeast 82nd Avenue and Northeast 289th Street in Battle Ground.
He was waiting for the bus to Battle Ground High School at 7 a.m. when the crash occurred, but wasn’t discovered until a tow truck driver arrived 90 minutes later. The driver of the Nissan, Shaun Johnson, 46, of Vancouver, didn’t tell authorities she had hit someone. Clark County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t taken any legal action against Johnson and is waiting for results from Johnson’s blood draw.
Carey contracted a staph infection last week while in the intensive care unit at PeaceHealth; he was monitored in isolation and underwent multiple surgeries over several days to remove all of the muscle in his lower right leg. On Sunday, the teen moved from the intensive care unit to another floor of the hospital. Carey is scheduled to undergo additional surgery this week to clean any remaining infected tissue.
Will he ever walk again?
“Someday. We don’t know when,” Chumley said.
Doctors said that Carey could have a more active life if his right leg was amputated. Skin grafting would be virtually impossible, Chumley said, because there needs to be muscle underneath the graft.
Carey was provided a service dog through Northwest Battle Buddies, a program that typically serves veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. The organization’s founder, Shannon Walker, has two sons who were in ROTC with Carey.
A short-haired German Shepherd, Ruby, is being trained to meet his needs and will be outfitted with an Air Force harness — the military branch Carey wanted to join after graduating high school.
The Woodland Burgerville, 1120 Lewis River Road, will donate 10 percent of its Thursday proceeds between 4 and 9 p.m. to Carey’s medical bills. On July 14, South Pacific Cafe and Lounge in Battle Ground, 15 E. Main St., will donate 10 percent of its sales from 2 to 9 p.m. to the fund, as well as match the amount raised. Chumley said there will be T-shirts for sale and a raffle.
Those interested in helping with Carey’s medical bills can donate to the “Justin Carey Caring Fund” at any Bank of America branch.