By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
A Portales woman critically injured in a car accident which took the life of her husband, Travis Freeman, on Feb. 7, is expected to make a full, but slow recovery, and fundraisers are being planned on her behalf.
Jezika Shumate Freeman, 18, is undergoing rehabilitation at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock for injuries she sustained in the accident which occurred a month ago today at the intersection of N.M. 206 and North Ave. O, northwest of Portales.
Jezika lost her only child, a baby girl, only a week before her husband was killed. A memorial service will be held for Travis at 1 p.m. on Saturday at First Baptist Church in Portales.
In spite of all of this, her stepmother, Lynette Harris, said, “She’s gonna get through it and get stronger for it. She’s had a lot to deal with, but she’s young and strong. We expect her to make a full recovery. We’re just working with her in rehab, helping her get through tough times, and looking forward to getting her home, whenever she is ready.”
Harris expects Jezika to remain in the hospital for at least another month and noted that her father, mother and family members have constantly been at her side throughout the ordeal. Following the accident, Freeman was in a coma, but Harris said she is conscious now, her injuries are healing well and she is able to speak.
Margaret Blazek, a family friend who works with Harris at The Arts Academy at Bella Vista in Clovis and is helping plan two fundraisers slated for March 18 and Easter Sunday, said, “Jezika’s recovery has been miraculous, from all I heard, but she still has a long way to go.”
The first fundraiser will be an arts fair on March 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. John’s Baptist Church in Clovis. The event will include a talent show and auction. Blazek said that any funds raised will be matched by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a nonprofit organization.
A second fundraiser will be a breakfast at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clovis on Easter Sunday from 8-9 a.m. Any funds raised at this event will also be matched by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Blazek said that people who do not attend the events can mail donations to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 N. Prince, Clovis, NM 88101.
In additional to the fundraisers, Hacienda Home Center, where Freeman’s father, Brett Shumate is employed, is taking up a collection for Jezika. A bank account has also been established on her behalf at First Financial Credit Union in Portales, under the name Brett Shumate Family.
Harris said donations will go toward medical expenses and to also help Jezika make a new start in life. “We’ve gotten a huge outpouring of prayers from the community and it has been so much appreciated. It has really been a comfort and we would like for the prayers to continue for sure.”