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Finding a Ride

Sibling reaches out for help after sister’s devastating wreck and loss of mother to COVID

By Eugenia Jones

Life for one McCreary County family changed forever on the morning of October 16, 2007 when seventeen year old McCreary Central High School Senior, Betty Cox, was involved in a life changing car wreck on Sandhill Road while she was traveling  to school.

In the horrific wreck, Betty was ejected out of the car and landed more than one hundred feet away from the vehicle.  Flown out by a helicopter to the University of Tennessee Hospital, Betty suffered traumatic brain injury.

Miraculously, Betty survived.  Today, at the age of thirty-one, Betty has one kidney.  She cannot stand on her own and cannot use her hands.  She requires 24/7 care.  

Betty’s mother, Jeanie Sue “Susie” Vanover, was her daughter’s primary caregiver after the accident.  Sadly, fourteen years after Betty’s accident, tragedy struck the family again when the loving, dedicated mother lost her battle with COVID-19 earlier this month on September 3.

“Anybody who knew my mother knew she would give the shirt off her back or her last bite of food to someone in need,” Betty’s sister, Samantha Cox, shared.  “Mom would do it with a smile on her face and not say anything about it.”

After the death of their mother, Samantha took Betty into her home to care for her.

“It has been a huge adjustment for Betty,” Samantha said.  “She does not understand what has happened.  She doesn’t understand the change.”

A typical day for Betty and Samantha begins in the morning as Samantha dresses her sister and moves her to a wheelchair.  Samantha then feeds Betty breakfast before getting her into a vehicle for the trip to adult day care.  Normally, it takes two people to get Betty into a regular vehicle.  In the evening, Samantha picks Betty up at day care, feeds her supper, and gets her ready for bed.

“Betty loves adult day care, and she loves to shop,” Samantha shared.  “Shopping is her most favorite thing to do.  She also enjoys watching television and listening to music.”

Realizing Betty’s need for a handicap accessible van with a ramp to help with loading and unloading her, Samantha has made it her own mission to try and raise funds to purchase the much needed vehicle.“

“Betty needs a handicap accessible van to help get her to doctor’s appointments, adult day care, and other places that she can enjoy,” Samantha said.  “That’s why I set up the gofund me account, “Help Betty get a handicap vehicle.”  

The gofund me account was set up on September 15 and has already garnered $1,290 in donations towards the $20,000 goal.  WBIR Channel 10 News in Knoxville recently picked up the story. In an effort to help, the news crew arranged to interview Samantha who was accompanied to the interview by Betty and her father.

Samantha is determined she will eventually be able to purchase a handicapped accessible van for her sister.  It also pleases Samantha to think about how happy her mother would be for Betty to get the vehicle she needs.

“I know my mother is in Heaven smiling because of all the people that has helped us,” Samantha said.  “God bless, and thank you.”

 Donations can be made through Facebook’s gofund me page “Help Betty get a handicap vehicle” organized by Samantha Cox.  Checks, money orders, etc. can be mailed to Samantha/Betty Cox,  2520 Sandhill Road, Whitley City, KY.  42653.

Betty is pictured with parents, Tim and Susie.  Sadly, Betty’s mother and caregiver lost her battle with COVID-19 earlier this month.  Tim recovered but still has lingering problems with his breathing.

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