Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Donations of Love

The Sherry and Raynor families have been overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and outpouring of love. Your individual and collective support has been tangible and made a real difference. Many of you have additionally asked how to make a financial donation to ease the immediate financial burdens. We have set up this site to make that possible.

On Saturday, July 14th, Seth and Caroline Sherry along with their children, Tommy (4 1/2 yrs) and Cali (1), Caroline's younger sister, Katie (18yrs.), and 3 friends - including Seth's best friend from Corvallis, Seth Wiggins, were all traveling by car from their home in Zambia to Zimbabwe.  The driver fell asleep and the car rolled three times, crashing into a tree just at the front passenger seat where our Seth was seated.  Though banged up, Seth Wiggins and the two other friends appear to have not been injured badly.  Tommy was thrown 100 feet from the car and had a concussion and cuts to his head, Cali seems to have been spared any serious injury, Caroline has a very serious cut on her foot, Katie has broken ribs and lung contusion along with a serious concussion and perhaps other undiagnosed injuries.  Seth Sherry was critically injured with a broken neck and back (C-1 & C-6 vertebrae).
As you can imagine, the care in a 3rd world country is lacking and compromised, particularly with Seth.  Over a period of a day and half, it became clear that if Seth's life and limb movement abilities were to be preserved, he would need to be flown to Johannesburg, South Africa which the insurance company did arrange and Seth Wiggins accompanied him on the flight (where he remains to give perfect care and attention to our Seth).  Caroline and family stayed behind in a clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe (the capitol) where they were in the care of local LDS church members. Recently Katie was transferred to South Africa to be in the same hospital as Seth to received more advanced care for her injuries.

In South Africa, all exams and tests were redone and the injuries more specifically identified.  Seth continues to have movement in feet and hands though his shoulders and arms above the elbow have diminished sensation and movement (this however, has improved over the last couple days - a very good sign).  Neurosurgeons have teamed together to provide the best approach to stabilize Seth's neck and back.  The next step in doing so is critical and of immediate concern to prevent paralysis.  Currently Seth has been fitted with a Miami Brace to stabilize his neck and allow swelling to decrease.  He may face surgery in the coming weeks.

Caroline and the kids have recently been able to fly to South Africa to be with Seth and Katie.  They are setting up temporary housing in Johannesburg.  The future is unknown with Seth and Katie's time in the hospital.  Seth has a long road ahead of him but he remains optimistic. Caroline has had to balance caring for others, making tough decisions, dealing with all the logistics, AND suffering with her own physical injuries.

There have been so many prayers, blessings, people in the right places, and miraculous help from LDS Church members in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.  We appreciate your concern and prayers, they are deeply meaningful to us and important for Seth, Caroline and family. 

Please leave uplifting comments here to be shared with Seth and Caroline to help boost their spirits and we will have them printed for them to read there in South Africa.

Donations will be used to cover medical expenses, temporary housing needs, travel, and the many yet unknown needs in the long road ahead.  While we all wish this circumstance never existed, we do gratefully acknowledge your requests to help.

Click on the DONATE button to make a contribution on this secure site using credit card, bank or Paypal money transfer.  If you don't have a Paypal account you can still make a donation -- just click the DONATE button and look at the bottom left-hand corner of the Paypal page for instructions to donate.


  1. Caroline and Seth,
    My heart just goes out to you and your family. You are such a great family and you have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since I heard. Much love to you all.
    Becerra Famliy
    Kara, Chris, Sofia, Gabe, and Miriam

  2. Seth,

    (This is Sterling Johnson, on my wifes blog) I am sorry that over the years we have not been in touch. I feel horrible that this trial has come over your family, especially being so far away from the best medical teams on the earth. You are a very strong son of your heavenly father and he will not forsake you in your time of need. I have no idea what you are going through, but you are in my thoughts and prayers. I just found out about this accident today and it made me cry immediately. I want to help, but there is really no way that I can at this moment. I just pray that you know how much I care for you, and that you made an impact on my life during our teenage years. Your family picture is adorable, and you will make it through this trial, even if we do not know the end result yet. Just keep working hard and praying constantly, and we will do the same thing here.
    Sterling, Rachael, Maddie, Mateo, and Makai Johnson!

  3. Sending you all lots of love and prayers from oregon! if there is any resources we can pull together for you here in corvallis just say the word and it shall be done!

  4. Seth,

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My daughter and I send our love and pray for a full and speedy recovery. If there is anything that we can do here just say the word and it will get done one way or another.


    Erin and Lil Heather Southern

  5. Sherry Family & Katie,

    Your in our thoughts and prayers many times each day.

    Visiting Megan in Ghana there is much concern for your care. However I know there is a God that watches over us and helps us make it over even the roughest of paths. When it is the hardest is when you come to know God best, and recognize the smallest blessings. You will all be in our prayers as long as need be.

    Dale & Julie Turner (and girls)

  6. Praying for you and the entire family. My husband broke his neck (C-5, C-6)a few years ago and so we can somewhat understand how terrifying this may be. From what we have learned through written updates, we are so encouraged by Seth's progress. We send our love to everyone in the family. You are wonderful people and your strength is greatly admired, worthy of every possible blessing. Praying for the recovery of everyone involved.
    ~Annette Christensen Davis & Scott Davis

  7. We did the same for my nephew and it really helped them a lot. Thanks for the blog and again our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  8. We're praying for a full and speedy recovery for everyone, especially Seth. You are great people and we're sad that you're having to deal with this, but we know that you are strong enough to get through it! The Lord will bless, strengthen and comfort you as you travel this road. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones!!

    Bryan, Candice, Kylie & Baby Johnson

  9. I love you Caroline!!! We are praying for you and your sweet family. I wish I could be there to do something more to help!

  10. Hi guys. Word travelled back here to Zambia very quickly and we are all so concerned for you all. I can imagine that on top of the situation, it must feel very lonely and isolating to be in a foreign place trying to deal with everything. We are here for you if you need absolutely anything at all--even if you just want help with the kids. Craig and I can easily come to joburg for a few days to just give you a break, Caroline--anything anything anything.

    We are so lucky to have met you all here and started to get to know your wonderful family. We're thinking about you and can't wait to hear more and more encouraging news. with love from the wakefields

    1. Christie--such a sweet message. Thank you. This is Seth's sister Leah. In case they do want to contact you, would you mind emailing me your contact info? leahnwright{at}gmail{dot}com

  11. Caroline and Family,

    I have been thinking of you everyday since I heard the news. Please know that so many people are praying for you at this time. I asked Simone to remember your family in her nighttime prayer a few days ago and she said so innocently, "who are these friends? how did they get hurt?" Then I told her all about Thomas and Cali and you and Seth! She was very concerned that a little boy her age was in a car accident. Her concern was so genuine and so sweet - I can't wait for our kiddos to meet some day!

    Caroline, for as long as I have known you, you have been a source of strength and support to others. I am certain you will continue to be strong for your family now. I also know that you are very independent ;) Please don't be afraid to ask for help! I know that the Lord will give you added strength to endure this trial. And I know that He will assist in your family's recovery.

    Hugs and kisses from the Legerskis.

  12. Seth,

    Pam Whipple Heward here. I was one of Emily's mission companions. Of course you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have an additional thought though: I worked as an operating room nurse in Salt Lake City for awhile and I know some fabulous surgeons. While I understand that any possible surgery may need to take place in Johannesburg, would you want to visit with a surgeon in the states regarding your care plan? I'd be happy to track down their contact information and give them a call. I hope the best for you and your family. Your sister and family have always been wonderful to me and I truly hope for good things to happen for you.

    Lots of Love,


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