Tracy Boone died three times on Nov. 7, 2007, and each time emergency personnel revived her.
“The doctors tell us she’s a miracle,” said Ronald Moore, Boone’s father.
The miracle began around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. Then 34 year-old Boone left her home to go grocery shopping for dinner — chicken to be exact. She told her husband of 11 years that she’d be back in a few moments. A few moments turned into days, then weeks, and now months. She still hasn’t gone back.
After her grocery shopping, she left the store in her Chevy S10 and was struck from behind by another vehicle that propelled her head-on into a truck coming her way.
“She died twice at the scene,” her father said.
After reviving her the second time, a transport helicopter flew her to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. Upon arrival at the hospital, Tracy died again. But medical personnel persisted, and she was revived.
She was in a coma for a month. Her extensive injuries include: severe brain damage, loss of her right eye, broken right arm, broken hip, fractured neck, punctured lung and broken ribs. She’s had five surgeries so far — two on her eye, one on her arm and one on each leg, and is still unable to walk.
“We’re going to make her walk,” said Ronald Moore. “She has come a long way in three months. I promised her she was going to walk, and I’m not going to quit until she does.”
The impact from the collision shifted her brain, causing permanent damage and a mood disorder. Her memory fades in and out. Her parents stand patiently by her side, rejoicing in each step she takes while they hold her hands. Her 6-year old son, Jeremy, beams in pride, noticing her achievements, Boone’s mother Debi Moore said.
For awhile, Tracy’s parents took care of her four kids (ranging in ages 3 to 16).
Eventually their father took the three youngest from the grandparents and moved a female friend into the home he shared with his wife, said Debi Moore.
They no longer get to see their mother on a regular basis. Tracy lost more than her life as she knew it, more than an eye or the use of her legs ... she also lost her husband. And now, she has lost her children.
A plea to go home
“I want to go home and be with my mama and daddy and my four kids,” said Boone. “I need to be with my children.”
Boone resides at an Effingham County nursing home. But her parents want to bring their daughter home and help her get her children back.
Back in November, the Moores had been in the process of renovating their home in Faulkville. Debi Moore quit her job after the automobile wreck so she could be there for her daughter and grandkids.
“Nothing is more important than family,” said Tracy’s mother.
Their home still sits in disrepair. In order to bring her home from the nursing home, the Moores need another bedroom and bath, in addition to a kitchen sink. More importantly, they need to make the house wheelchair-accessible.
In the past few months, Debi wrecked her own vehicle, blacking out from the stress of the past year.
Then a few weeks ago, the transmission in her husband’s truck failed. Although Ronald Moore works with a construction company at the sugar refinery, they don’t make enough to be able to get the house ready, help their daughter get her kids back and help with any other medical costs that insurance won’t cover.
Her parent’s struggle with the knowledge that they can’t even find a psychiatrist or the counseling that will help their daughter get the psychological care she needs from suffering such a traumatic experience that led to a mood disorder.
“We don’t have a lot of money,” Tracy’s mother said, choking back tears. “I wish we did, but we don’t.”
The Moores said the whole experience has taught them the power of prayer.
Boone is their only child. They visit her daily, bring her home as often as they can and struggle emotionally each time they have to tell her that they can’t take her home yet.
They are both so incredibly grateful to the nursing home staff at Effingham Hospital, speaking highly of the ones who have helped Tracy.
Steve Turcotte and his wife Robin are holding a Texas hold’em match Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. in the Banquet Room off Goshen Road in Rincon.
There’s a $50 buy-in, and re-buys are accepted during the first hour only. The winner of the tournament will receive 50 percent of the money while the remaining 50 percent will go to the Moores to help with the renovations.
In addition, Turcotte has contacted the “Extreme Makeover” television program that is coming to Savannah and has recommended Boone and her parent’s home.
“They have (received) about 45 nominations today alone,” said Turcotte. “How great would that be if they got picked?”
Extreme Makeover is accepting nominations until Oct. 13 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone interested in joining in the tournament, can contact the Banquet Room (Robin Turcotte) at (912) 663-0856, or Steve Turcotte at (912) 663-1944. They are also seeking food and drink donations for the event as well.
For those interested in helping the family, but unable to play in the tournament, contributions can be made to the Tracy Boone Fund at Citizen’s Bank in one of the Effingham County branches. The account is under her mother’s name.