Family seeking support for student’s expenses

Community raises awareness to offset medical costs


provided by support4josue

Discharged on October 30, Josue (left) enjoys recovery time with his sisters Elizabet (center) and Jocelyn (right).

Catherine Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Almost two months after the accident and junior Josue Salamanca’s family is still seeking support for his recovery. The family is asking the community to donate to the GoFundMe at Spread the word, post about the cause and send prayers for continued healing.
“I’d say the hardest challenge is keeping people’s interest because obviously when it first happened, people saw it as a much bigger deal, but it does have a lot of long-term lasting effects. I mean he’s still going through surgeries, stuff like that, so we still need the money,” said junior Hannah Meixner.
On September 21, Josue and Hannah were involved in a car accident at the intersection of US Route 17 and Old Tavern Road (State Route 245) that resulted in several severe injuries. According to the GoFundMe,
“Both were sent to INOVA Fairfax Hospital’s level I trauma unit. Josue underwent two immediate surgeries and blood transfusion for internal bleeding in two areas. Josue is suffering from several lacerations, a hip fracture, collapsed lung, and a head injury that is causing trauma to his brain.”
He remained unconscious with little movement. However, on September 27, Josue’s track coaches came to visit and Josue woke up. By October 17, Josue was eating, attending physical therapy, speaking, interacting through phone calls and remembering things.
“At first, I thought it was a joke. I didn’t really believe it, but I ended up going over to his house because nobody could get ahold of his dad. I had to tell his dad, and at that point I was like alright, it can’t be a joke,” said friend of Josue, junior Matthew Philips.
The Student Council Association used the following morning to create cards of healing and support for both students. Additionally, several students participated in the “Mark Your Car” event before school one morning, writing messages of support, hashtags and the GoFundMe link on their windows and rear view windshields.
Hannah was released from the hospital on September 27.
“It made me think about how easy it is for an accident like that to happen and how severe it could be. We both could have just been gone, so it’s just very surprising and then how many people actually care and support us,” said Hannah.
Josue remained in the hospital until October 30. According to a post on the Instagram support page, support4josue, ran by sister-in-law Latisha Salamanca, he was released before his sister’s birthday.
“It’s an absolute miracle! The doctor’s said he only had a three percent chance of survival when he was first flown into the trauma unit and he’s already back home, walking around one [to] two months earlier than expected,” said Salamanca.
His first visitor was Hannah, who describes the first visit as “the happiest day.” After going over a month without talking to or seeing each other it was a relief to spend time with one another.
“We both can’t remember anything, so it’s like everybody seems to know more about what happened directly to us than we do. It was good to finally be with somebody who understood that,” said Meixner.
Philips, juniors Ethan Perez and two other friends also visited Josue after his release. They were both relieved to see he was doing well and “that his mentally was still good, that was the important part,” said Hannah.
As close friends, both boys were deeply impacted by the event.
“It made me look at things differently and be more safe in general because I mean anything can happen,” said Ethan.
The GoFundMe is currently around $60,000 short of their $100,000 goal to offset that cost of medical expenses. Matthew emphasizes his joy in Josue’s recovery but said, “his family definitely needs more support, so you can’t just forget about it.”