Former Clallam woman on mend after wreck

Emily Joner Dickens, who was critically injured in the Oct. 18 car wreck that took the lives of 6-year-old Theodin Nelson and his grandmother, Mary Wyman, has been released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is slowly recovering after going through a series of about 10 surgeries.

Released from hospital

Dickens — a 22-year-old former resident of Neah Bay and Port Angeles who now lives in Vancouver, Wash. — was released from the hospital about four weeks ago and is scheduled to have her “halo,” a head brace, removed Jan. 15, said her sister, Kristina Russell, who lives in Port Angeles.

Dickens suffered a broken back, a broken neck and lacerations to her liver, pancreas, spleen and an artery in her leg from the wreck.

She and her husband, Josh Dickens, were driving to Joyce to her mother’s home when the car driven by Wyman crossed the centerline of state Highway 112 just west of U.S. Highway 101 and collided with them.

Both Theodin Nelson — the son of Darrell Nelson, a Sequim police detective, and Brooke Nelson, a real estate agent who won a seat on the Port Angeles City Council in the Nov. 3 general election — and Wyman, Brooke Nelson’s mother, died in the wreck.

Josh Dickens, 24, who suffered a damaged eye socket, broken nose and other injuries in the wreck, has recovered, Russell said.

Russell said doctors told her sister it will be a long time before she fully recovers.

Years-long recovery

“They said there is no reason why she can’t return to a normal life,” she said. “Just don’t expect it in six months. It’s going to be years.”

She goes through physical therapy several times a week, remains in a lot of pain, but keeps a positive attitude, Russell said.

“She is having to learn to use her [left] arm again,” said Russell.

Russell said the couple greatly appreciates all of the donations made through First Federal, about $11,000, but she added they still have a “mountain” of medical bills to pay.

The bills total about $500,000, she said.

For more information, see www.joshandemily dickens.com.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

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