The Pierce family of Berlin – well known for its contributions to the town’s fabric – is facing a challenge that came just before Christmas when their 18-year-old son suffered severe brain trauma in a car accident.
An active community member and Eastern High graduate, Jimmy Pierce III had just dropped his girlfriend off in Voorhees on Dec. 18 and was alone in his Ford when a sudden storm on Evesham Road caused the vehicle to hit a pole, trapping him inside.
The Magnolia Fire Department’s Squad 29 helped extricate Jimmy and EMS crews transported him to Cooper University Hospital’s trauma unit in Camden, where he underwent critical procedures that included draining fluid from his brain.
Doctors at Cooper are using treatments for Jimmy from the Boost3 Research study for patients with severe brain injury, results that will be shared to eventually benefit others in similar situations. Getting to the hospital in the first place would not have been possible if responders had not used Genesis Rescue Systems’ tools to extricate Jimmy from his vehicle, according to reports.
Meanwhile Jim Pierce – a prominent figure in Berlin’s public safety department and a former township councilman – expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support of the community.
“The outpouring is incredible from the town,” he said. “He’s (Jimmy) learning to focus his eyes and being fed through a tube, but we are getting there.”
With their son’s recovery expected to be a prolonged one, the family remains optimistic yet realistic about the challenges ahead.
“Now we are hoping for a very good recovery,” the elder Pierce noted. “So many people are worried about him (Jimmy) and are ready (for him) to come home. Doctors are saying this can be a year or two.
“They’re expecting this to be a long journey.”
That journey has also impacted Jimmy’s twin Luke, who is deeply concerned about his brother’s condition. But the Pierce family is finding solace in the unwavering care of friends and family as well as the Berlin community, whose fire department – and some residents – delivered a Christmas tree to the family to help them face the holiday.
And despite the medical hurdles, Jim Pierce continues to update the community through social media.
“Each day, we are making progress,” he posted. “It has impacted everything we have done so far. They community and medical staff have really done a remarkable job, and I couldn’t have been more blessed.”
The latest reports are that Jimmy is spending more time awake and showing improvement. While he still faces difficulties with speech and motor skills, the Pierces hope his eventual transfer to less critical treatment will be a step closer to recovery. They remain deeply appreciative of support and prayers to strengthen their resilience, Jim noted, a testament to the unity and care of the township community.