George Jones In Serious Condition After Auto Accident
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[ March 19th (PM) Update ]
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March 19, 1999 (PM)
George Jones has been released from the hospital today, just 13 days after a near-fatal auto accident which left him with a lacerated liver, punctured lung, and internal bleeding.
During his stay, he made remarkable progress. He suffered a short bout with pneumonia, but that cleared up after several days.
Hospital spokesman, Wayne Wood said that Jones' recovery was "amazing ... considering that two weeks ago I don't think anybody would dispute that he had very life-threatening injuries, especially the liver injury."
George thanked the doctors and nurses before climbing aboard his tour bus for the ride to his Franklin, TN home. No media was called, at the family's request. They wanted to get him home with as little fuss as possible.
March 19, 1999
A former employee of a Brentwood liquor store claims that he sold George Jones the bottle of vodka, and was fired because of it. Investigators are following up on this claim. They are also trying to track down the two people that called into 911, the night of the accident claiming to have seen someone driving erratically just before the crash. One of the two callers mentioned Jones by name.
George remains in critical, but stable condition.
March 18, 1999
Williamson County District Attorney General Ronald Davis says that evidence that was gathered from the accident by state troopers will be given to a grand jury. Additional efforts to obtain a sample of Jones' blood from Vanderbilt University Medical Center can't happen as no charges have been filed.
Davis says that while there was a bottle found in the car, it does not constitute that Jones was driving under the influence.
Evelyn Shriver spoke out yesterday, saying that the media has lost its perspective in reporting the story. Everyone is more concerned about the bottle of alcohol when the more immediate concern is whether he's going to live, and will he sing again.
March 17, 1999
George was removed once more from the ventilator yesterday, after a brief bout with pneumonia. His condition is still critical, but stable.
While he continues to improve, there is speculation that he may have been drinking, and that might be the cause for the accident.
At the time of the accident, police did not take a blood sample because the state trooper believed the accident to be caused by Jones' use of a cellular phone, and overcompensating when he negotiated the curve where he slammed his vehicle into a bridge abutment.
If prosecutors want to find out the results of the blood test, they will have to subpoena the records from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The family said it will fight the release of the blood tests, as it is a violation of Jones' privacy.
March 16, 1999
On Thursday afternoon, March 11th, news broke that there was a pint bottle of vodka, which was sealed but previously opened under the passenger seat of Jones' vehicle. The investigating trooper reported that he doesn't think that the crash is alcohol-related, but the Tennessee Highway Patrol asked for a test on a vial of blood taken from Jones shortly after the crash.
On Friday, George has developed pneumonia and had to be placed back on a respirator to help him breathe and save his strength. He remains in critical but stable condition.
March 11, 1999
George has been removed from the respirator and is sitting up, and has spoken his first words since the accident. Of course, they aren't printable, and show his feisty nature.
The words "awww s--t," were reported as his first.
Jones' doctor, Dr. Virginia Eddy said that there is the possibility that he'll be able to go home at the end of the week if things go perfectly.
March 10, 1999
Yesterday, George sat up in a chair and he was taken off the ventilator. Doctors have plans to get him walking, and there is even a chance that he may be released by the end of the week, if things go well. He may also receive speech therapy, not to talk but to overcome possible memory loss, sleep disruption or lack of concentration. Doctors say the injuries sustained shouldn't hinder his ability to sing.
He had a pretty good night, with one exception of a disturbance of his heart rhythm, which was treated with medication, which he responded well to.
For those local to the area, there is a giant get well card that can be signed, in the food court, at the Rivergate Mall or tomorrow, at CoolSprings Galleria.
The Nashville Digest has the full story along with a photo of Jones' vehicle.
March 9, 1999 (PM)
Asylum Records President, Evelyn Shriver says that George was really excited about his next record prior to the accident. He was scheduled to host a dinner for 30 country radio deejays, and play his new music. It's been a while since radio people have been invited to his home, as they have all but stopped playing his new singles. But, he is confident of this new work, and is anxious to get it out there.
The record release will be delayed as Shriver wants George totally involved in the decision-making process. They've also had to reschedule some upcoming concerts this Spring for the Fall, instead.
George's wife, Nancy says she knows that George is getting better because he's getting mad that doctors keep poking at him.
She says, "As long as he's grouchy I know he's getting better."
March 9, 1999
George Jones continues to improve, say doctors. In a day or two, he may be weaned off the ventilator he's been on since the accident.
Dr. Virginia Eddy states, "He's not only stable but showing early signs of starting to get better."
March 8, 1999 (PM)
George's condition has been updated from critical to stable. Fans that would like to send their wishes to him can do so by mailing them to:
March 8, 1999
George remains in critical condition, however he is improving. Doctors are encouraged by the significant improvement. They hope to start weaning him off the ventilator today, and he may soon be receiving nutrients through a tube to his stomach.
Dr. Virginia Eddy said that as long as his liver doesn't bleed, he has a good chance of recovery. She also said that the liver heals itself well, and injuries of this type are such that she expects it will heal without any surgery.
Although George hasn't spoken since the accident, he is communicating with wife, Nancy by squeezing her hand.
March 7, 1999
George remains in critical condition, in the Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but doctors say he is making remarkable improvement from the accident that left him virtually at "death's door."
The most serious injury was the cut to his liver, which has now stopped bleeding. A ventilator has been helping him breathe, and he's been sedated by pain medication.
George's wife, Nancy says that he is communicating with her by squeezing her hand. She's received calls from many country stars, including Faith Hill, Randy Travis, Waylon Jennings and Tim McGraw. Johnny Cash even called from Jamaica.
In the next few days, doctors will try to wean him off the ventilator, and begin feeding him through a tube in his stomach. He could be home in as little as two weeks, if he continues to make progress.
Nancy Jones remarked, "The good Lord has a reason, he's not going to take George yet. George has got a lot of singing to do."
Original Accident Report
Country Legend George Jones, 67, had to be airlifted to Vanderbuilt University Medical Centre after he ran his sport utility vehicle into a bridge just outside of Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, March 6th.
George had been talking to Evelyn Shriver, President of Asylum Records, his record label, on his cell phone about 10-15 minutes prior to the accident, trying unsuccessfully to get her to listen to some newly recorded songs on his cars cassette radio. She said she'd come to his home to hear the songs, and George hung up and called his stepdaughter, Adina Estes. It was while he was speaking to Estes that the accident occurred.
Jones was not wearing a seatbelt, and was trapped in his vehicle for almost 2 hours while rescue workers fought to extricate him. He was airlifted to the hospital, where he was treated for a collapsed lung, internal bleeding and a ruptured liver.
He's been unconscious since the accident occurred, and is on a ventilator, which Dr. John Morris, head of the trauma unit at Vanderbuilt said they expect to be only temporary. The next two to four days will be critical. Dr. Morris says that the liver injury is what they are most concerned with.
As of today, Sunday, March 7th, his condition remains the same, and he is still on the ventilator. This page will be updated as news comes in of any changes in his condition.