When I heard the news on Friday, June 25, 2010 that Chad Jones, current rookie for the New York Giants, was critically injured in a one-car accident, my heart sank. Sure he was no longer an LSU Tiger, but like all the other Tigers who have moved on to the NFL, I was looking forward to cheering him on each and every game, unless he was playing the Saints.
Here it is Monday, June 28, 2010 and I still am overcome with many thoughts, feelings, questions, and memories.
The thought of New York and New Orleans praying for the same positive outcome is nothing new for these two cities. They have been intertwined many times.
After September 11, 2001 the people of Louisiana raised money, built, and delivered the “Spirit of Louisiana” fire engine. The employees at Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden, La., donated their time to make sure it was done by Christmas.
Marsanne Golsby, the press secretary of Louisiana’s then Governor, Mike Foster, said, “By donating a fire truck to New York, we are doing two things. First, it shows the world and New York the true spirit of Louisiana and the goodwill that our citizens possess. Secondly, this is a tangible memorial to the firefighters who lost their lives in New York and the people of Louisiana are showing their respect and admiration for these men and women.”
Roughly four years later on September 8, 2005 the “Spirit of Louisiana” pulled back into the city of New Orleans loaded with members of the New York Fire Department. The men covered over 1300 miles in two days to get there quick. They joined 300 other members of the FDNY to help during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.
On February 3, 2008 we all watched and prayed together as Eli Manning and the Giants drove down the field to win Super Bowl XLII, even while on the parade route for those of us in New Orleans.
I ask once again for our two cities to come together and wish Chad Jones and his family all the best during this trying time.
I can only imagine their turmoil, for a year ago to the day of the crash Chad was on the pitcher’s mound during the College World Series.
The “dreadlocks of doom” came in as the south paw relief pitcher and helped cinch the Tigers' win by throwing one and two thirds hitless innings. The LSU Tigers went on to win the College World Series. According to Wikipedia, “Jones along with Jared Mitchell are the only two players in college history to claim a BCS national title and a baseball national title."
I, as well as many others, was relieved that Chad is alive. The automobile crash was horrific. The driver’s side of his SUV slammed into a streetcar pole along Carrolton Avenue and was crushed. His two passengers were able to walk away, however Mr. Jones needed to be extricated by the NOFD.
He was then brought to University Hospital, which is part of LSU’s public and teaching hospital system where he underwent many hours of surgery. The first thought was to save his life; there was massive blood loss due to his injuries.
He had broken his tibia and fibula.
Next was to save the leg, the broken bones in his lower leg were set, but now it was time for the vascular surgeon to re-establish blood flow to the foot and ankle.
Late Friday evening when Al Jones, Chad’s father, drove in from Texas the medical team was optimistic of outcome and even his career.
Al Jones told the news media Friday that “God has brought Chad this far” in reference to his son’s athletic achievements, followed by “he isn’t going to leave him, or us now.”
My thoughts are about the same and I believe in miracles. I also believe there are lessons to be learned, but for now it is time to be thankful for our native New Orleanian’s health. The “spirit" of Louisiana has pulled us through some hard times and it is that same “spirit” Chad will need from all of his teammates as he travels down his long road to recovery.
But if anyone can do it, Chad can. Before the wreck, he was a well-conditioned athlete, one could say a Giant.
As of today, he is in good spirits and is progressing well.
A Giant of an athlete with the heart of a Tiger and the blessings of many Saints…count on seeing him again.
I say by next season.