CLOSE

Shelby woman undergoes 8th surgery this year

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

SHELBY - Stacey Boggs hasn't been home in a year.

The 35-year-old Shelby woman and her husband Josh, 43, lost two daughters and an unborn baby when the driver of a Ford F-350 failed to stop at a stop sign and slammed into the family's van as they were on their way home from church.

sg飞艇appThe May 5 crash at Ganges Five Points Road and Ohio 96, which also injured 11, happened a year ago Tuesday.

sg飞艇appWhile Stacey was prepping Tuesday for her eighth surgery this year, Josh and his 15-year-old son Bruce were visiting the crash site at the exact time it happened, 1:26 p.m.

sg飞艇appNine-month-old Katherine Boggs died at the scene. Faith Boggs, 12, died of her injuries on May 12 at Columbus Nationwide Hospital.

Underwent brain surgery

sg飞艇appStacey Boggs was in an induced coma and underwent brain surgery, during which part of her frontal lobe was removed. She spent two months in intensive care and didn't learn of the deaths of the children until Aug. 6.

sg飞艇appWhile recuperating at Twilight Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation in Norwalk, Stacey suffered a setback Monday and had to be transported to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital for surgery.

"It's something with one of her shunts," Josh said almost matter-of-factly.

More: Driver involved in fatal crash in May indicted on 27 counts

More: Top stories, No. 9: Mom recovering after crash claims lives of two children, unborn child

It's been a long year for the family. Josh took Tuesday for a vacation day from his job at MTD in Willard.

"I was out to see the girls (Faith and Katherine) at like 5 in the morning," he said. "I've been up since 2:30."

sg飞艇appBefore he came to the crash site, Josh spent time with Stacey, posting a video from her hospital room. Stacey was unconscious.

"Because she was having surgery, I could see her one time," Josh said.

He had recently been limited to looking at Stacey through a window at Twilight Gardens.

In good spirits

Josh, sporting a black hoodie with the words Ultimate Fighter for Jesus Christ, seemed in surprisingly good spirits Tuesday considering the situation. 

"What a crazy day," he said.

sg飞艇appThe sun hid behind the clouds on a windswept afternoon. Josh noted it was much warmer the day of the crash.

Josh suffered cracked vertebrae, rib injuries and a concussion on that day. The couple's two remaining children, Bruce, and Raina, 13, also were injured, along with family friend Brandy Bond.

sg飞艇app"The last thing I remember is getting in the van and seeing Katherine roll her eyes at me," Josh said. "I woke up two days later in the hospital. Once we got hit, I don't remember anything.

"Eventually, I want to meet some people who were here and understand it better."

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the News Journal today to access all of our content online at offers.ksw932.cn.

From a small crest at the crash site, which has turned into a shrine, Josh could tell what happened. Heading north, the driver of the pickup smashed into the family's westbound van, which Stacey was driving.

"The baby died at impact," Josh said. "They were just too little. We (Stacey and I) were bigger."

Tire marks are still in the ground a year later. Matthew McBride, 25, was indicted on 27 charges, including 10 counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, in connection with the crash. His April 27 trial date was continued.

People express sympathies

A few people stopped Tuesday to express their sympathies to Josh and Bruce, a long and lean sophomore at Shelby High School.

sg飞艇appThe well-wishers included Richland County Commissioner Tony Vero, who met Josh during his efforts to get rumble strips put in where the crash happened.

"I just want to come out and pay my respects, Josh," Vero said. "Be well."

sg飞艇appAn older couple, friends of the family from church, stopped their car.

"A year ago today, huh?" the man asked.

sg飞艇appJosh said the support has been "amazing." He posts daily updates on Facebook, sometimes searingly personal ones. Each is read by hundreds of people who have followed the story from the beginning.

sg飞艇app"It's been a roller coaster because I never know what's going to happen or what we'll have to deal with," Josh said.

sg飞艇appLate last year, Stacey was conscious and even speaking. Josh and Stacey met through a karate class. Josh, a fourth-degree black belt, was the instructor. Both work at MTD, which manufactures outdoor power equipment.

Her left side was left mostly paralyzed by the crash, and her right elbow had to be reconstructed. 

Josh said he noticed a difference in Stacey's personality.

"She has no filter. She was so excited about that," he said. "She just said what was on her mind. I think that was a freedom for her."

Told not to get mad at God

Stacey mourned for her girls. She also encouraged Josh, telling him if Jesus took her, Josh was not allowed to be mad at him.

In late January, Stacey began to struggle with headaches and vomiting. Josh said air somehow got to her brain, leading to seven surgeries in February and March and a return trip to intensive care.

Josh said Stacey also suffered a stroke in February.

When she was doing better, she was taken to a facility in Newark and then to Norwalk, where she remained until Monday's setback.

sg飞艇app"I said if anything happens, she has to go to (OhioHealth) Mansfield," Josh said. "Mansfield knows her, and her neurologist is there."

sg飞艇appStacey returned for her third stint in intensive care.

sg飞艇app"We got used to her being there," Josh said.

sg飞艇appHe added he hopes Stacey has been healing during all this down time. 

sg飞艇appJosh visits the shrine on the fifth of every month. The area, now overgrown with grass, features three crosses, including a large wooden one with the family name on it. Josh suspects church members put it there, cementing it in the ground.

Several stuffed animals show the wear and tear of being out in the elements. 

"I just have to be prepared for anything, but I keep waking up every day," Josh said, kicking a dandelion. 

He is determined to keep sharing Stacey's story.

sg飞艇app"There's so many elements that many people can identify with," Josh said. "This is bigger than us. It just happened to us."

Rumble strips installed

At Josh's urging to improve safety at the intersection, rumble strips have been placed on Ganges Five Points Road at Ohio 96.

sg飞艇app"There hasn't been an accident at this intersection, to my knowledge, in the last year, which is good," he said.

sg飞艇appHe has no idea how the story will end, but he is not giving up.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Josh said. "Stacey's done the impossible just living through it.

"As long as she's alive, there's hope."

419-521-7219

Twitter: @MNJCaudill

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.ksw932.cn/story/news/2020/05/05/stacey-boggs-suffers-setback-near-anniversary-crash/3083751001/