Justin Gibson, sophomore social major from Gatesville, may be facing brain surgery after an accident Friday that left him with severe injuries.
According to the Abilene Police Department accident report, Gibson’s Honda Metropolitian collided with a Dodge Neon driven by Amanda Clemons, senior marketing major from Goliad, at about 2:40 p.m. Friday at the intersection of E.N. 10th St. and Pine St. Clemons turned left against an unprotected green light and hit Gibson, who had the right of way, according to the police report. Gibson was thrown from his scooter and landed in the intersection.
Clemons said she did not see Gibson in the intersection.
“I didn’t see him at all,” Clemons said. “It came out of nowhere.”
Gibson was immediately transported to Hendrick Medical Center, where doctors performed a CT scan and found bleeding in his brain. He was then airlifted to Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas. Gibson remains in critical condition, and doctors may perform surgery Wednesday depending on whether his blood pressure and other vitals stabilize.
Gibson’s girlfriend, Melissa Mason, junior psychology major from New York City, rushed from to Dallas to Abilene to be with Gibson.
“The doctors needed to do brain surgery right away because blood was clotting on the right side of his brain,” Mason said. “They removed half of his skull; there is bruising on his brain that is now dead brain tissue. That’s not going to come back.”
Gibson’s mother and stepfather are with him at the hospital. Mason said Gibson’s father who lives out of state was hospitalized because the stress of his son’s accident.
Mason said the recovery will take a long time.
“People think he’ll be OK, but no – he’s not really going to be.”
Gibson’s doctors are concerned that he will lose his speech, including his ability to read and hear, she said.
“Until the swelling goes down, they’re not going to have any idea whether he will be able to speak or not,” Mason said.
Every hour, Gibson’s doctors perform a response test, from which they’ve found his right side to be less responsive than his left. Now, Mason and Gibson’s family must wait for the swelling in his brain to decrease and pray for positive results.
“We’re trying to keep faith and stay hopeful and be strong for him,” Mason said. “I’m just praying like he would be praying, with the faith he has.”
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president and dean for student life, arrived at Hendrick before Gibson’s family.
“We tried to understand it,” Thompson said. “We wanted to make sure someone was there to be with him, his friends and his family.”
Clemons said it is difficult to think something like this could happen.
“I pray for him everyday,” Clemons said. “I hope that he has a speedy recovery.”