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Teen sends Angel Bags to watch over family members of trauma patients

March 10, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Alexis 'Lexi' Jarman, 17, and her father, Todd Jarman, stock supplies for Angel Bags in plastic containers at their Boonsboro home. The bags will be filled with clothing, toiletries and Bibles that will be distributed to family members of patients at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where Lexi was treated after an accident in February 2012.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — A little more than a year ago, Alexis Jarman’s parents didn’t know whether their 16-year-old daughter would make it through the night.

On Feb. 21, 2012, Alexis, or Lexi as she is known among her friends and family, suffered life-threatening injuries in a traffic accident on Potomac Street in Boonsboro. She was flown to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was prepared for surgery.

“They told me when I got there that she was hour by hour,” Lexi’s father, Todd Jarman, said recently during an interview at the family’s Boonsboro home. “They weren’t sure if she would make it through the night.”

Lexi endured her initial surgery and several others over the course of the following months to address injuries to her brain, eyes, face and mouth. She also has fought through a number of infections and grueling rehabilitation.

“I remember fainting ... I was in a lot of pain,” she said.
Now, nearly 13 months after the accident, Lexi is making a strong recovery at home.

Lexi and her parents recently hosted a one-year survivor party at the American Legion in Boonsboro, in part, to collect items for a project she started called Angel Bags.

The project involves collecting clothing, toiletries and Bibles that will be distributed to family members of patients at the trauma center.

“Mom said the people go down there in such a hurry, they don’t bring stuff with them,” Lexi said. “I just wanted to give back to the people who saved me and all the families who are struggling.”

Lexi’s mother, Lauren Jarman, was driving her daughter to school when their vehicle was struck by an oncoming car. Lauren said she suffered seven broken ribs in the accident and was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown.

Although her injuries were significant, the doctors at Meritus fast-tracked Lauren through treatment so she could be by Lexi’s side in Baltimore.

Lauren said the families of accident victims don’t have time to gather personal items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and a change of clothing, before they make that initial trip to the hospital.

She said Lexi came up with the idea for Angel Bags late last year, and has been working on the project ever since.

A room in the Jarmans’ house is partially filled with plastic storage bins full of items that Lexi has collected. She is working on filling hundreds of bags with one of each item so her father can take them to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in a few months.

Lexi, who is now 17 and home-schooled, said she plans to go to college to study medicine, and appreciates what the nurses and doctors at the trauma center did to save her life.

“I have a lot of respect for them,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”

For more information, visit Prayers for Lexi on Facebook.

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