Its been almost a month since a tow truck plowed through 10 vehicles on the Kahekili Highway off-ramp and Likelike highway.
Thirty-one-year-old Jim Braddock was in one of those cars and remains in critical condition.
Braddock’s wife, Tina said they got their first glimmer of hope when Jim wiggled his fingers about a week ago.
Tina been by his side since he was admitted to Queen’s Medical Center.
“I just want my Jimmy back,” Tina said as she choked back tears.
“I’ll take whatever. I just want him to be okay in any way. I don’t know. I just need him to be okay.”
Tina Braddock is clinging to the hope that she will one day have her husband back.
He is still in critical condition with numerous injuries including severe traumatic brain injury nearly a month after his car was smashed by a Pinky Tows tow truck.
Four people were taken to the hospital but Braddock’s condition was the most severe.
His car. A mangled mess. No match for the tow truck that was towing a heavy load.
“The fact that he’s in one piece still is a miracle and I am so hopeful that he’s going to get through this,” Tina said.
She is a military trauma nurse, and had worked the night before the accident, which was also the couple’s third wedding anniversary.
“I got home from work around 9 A.M. and I spoke to him. He was on his way to work that day and said I love you and that was the last time I talk to him.”
Tina said Jim was one of Sun Run’s top consultants and was headed out to help a coworker.
“He’s so good at what he does as a consultant he volunteers to mentor the new employees. So it’s my understanding that’s where he was going to pick up the new employee and go take them on a ride along to go show them how it’s done.”
She took a nap after he left and woke up to a text on her phone at 3 P.M.
“My phone was buzzing and it was the photo of Jimmy’s car. I couldn’t even see the car, and the question was, ‘Is that Jimmy?’ from a friend who had seen it on social media.”
Tina said she knew it was and immediately went into trauma nurse mode and started driving to the hospital.
About halfway there, she got a call from the social worker about her husband.
“It’s unfathomable what happened. I got back from Afghanistan a little over a year ago and you never think that something back home like this could happen, but it did, it can, and I wasn’t prepared for it.”
The ordeal has been a nightmare for Tina and Jim’s family who flew in from New York to be by their side.
They want answers and have filed a lawsuit against Pinky Tows and the tow truck driver, Misty Mitchell.
“I hope that (Misty Mitchell) does the right thing and is honest about the events of the day and what happened,” Mary Braddock, Jim’s sister, said as she sat next to Tina holding her hand.
“I’m so angry but just hope she does the right thing. If she could live with herself after all that, I would think that is a challenge.”
Pinky Tows and Misty Mitchell declined to comment.
The lawsuit also names the state, claiming the state: “acted in a careless and negligent manner by creating the unreasonably dangerous condition on the Likelike Highway by its failure to properly construct, design, repair and/or maintain the emergency runaway truck ramp on the Likelike Highway before the site of the accident.”
Tina is distraught over the fact that the tragedy could have been prevented.
“To hear that it was a reckless act, you know, it could have been avoided. It really, really hurts me,” Tina said.
“The world can be ugly and this makes you think the world is ugly,” Mary said.
“But then you’re reminded that there’s a lot more good in this world than there is bad. Jimmy is goodness and I think that that will get us through this and we are very grateful for that.”
The goodness they are focusing on are the fond memories of Jim, how he was before–his spirit and upbeat personality.
And they are holding on to hope that they’ll get that back one day.