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Benefit to aid couple hurt in wreck

A Fredericktown couple injured in an automobile accident the day after Christmas will be receiving help to pay for medical bills and other expenses from the proceeds of a benefit dinner and dance being held Saturday in their honor at the Fredericktown Eagles Lodge.

Brandon and Tonya (Haley) Graham, of Fredericktown, were involved in a two-vehicle crash off Highway 72 and Route HH in Bollinger County when a car pulled into their path. Neither were wearing their seat belts when the accident occurred. Brandon Graham was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau and his wife was airlifted by Air Evac to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Their four-month-old baby was also in the car, but was completely uninjured.

Brandon’s mother, Kelly Graham, said the couple has had a rough go of it since the accident occurred.

“They were going to Cape to go to the mall and do some grocery shopping,” she said. “That was their date because they have five kids — four between them and my niece that they raise — so, they don’t get to go out very often. It was a pretty horrific accident.

“My little daughter-in-law got pinned underneath the dash. It ripped her chin off — they’ve had to reconstruct her chin. She had a broken femur, her jaw was broken and they had to replace the top and bottom palate in her mouth with metal plates and knocked her teeth out. My son tried to hit the brakes so hard that it shoved his heel up into his ankle, shattering it. He also had a lot of cuts that he had to get stitched up.”

While the couple is back home, both are using walkers to get around and Brandon is not able to work.

“They’re getting along really well, Graham said. “My son still hasn’t had surgery on his foot, so it will be at least three months after he has it before he can go back to work. My nephew has been staying with them so he can help with the kids.”

Graham, along with friends Melissa Parson and Carline Simpson, are holding Saturday’s benefit to help the young couple get back on their feet.

“We’ve got a big, big dinner planned from 4 to 7 p.m. for a $5 donation,” Graham said. “The meal will include chili, chicken and dumplings, pulled pork sandwiches, baked ham, lots of sides to choose from and a dessert and drink. Then we have a band, Kyn & Dano, who’ll be playing from 7 to 11 p.m. There will be a $5 donation to get in to hear the band. We’re also going to have a lot of awesome, awesome raffles. Almost everybody in town has come together to help.”

Graham said her son and daughter-in-law are in a difficult financial situation at the moment because Brandon is unable to work and the couple is still waiting for insurance to start covering their medical expenses. Both are traveling back and forth to St. Louis several times a week for continued treatments.

“They haven’t gotten any help with their medical bills and they have no car now,” Graham said. “They obviously can’t drive anyway, but my nephew would be able to drive them where they need to go. We hope that a lot of people come out on Saturday night — the more help they get, the better it will be for their family.”

The Fredericktown Eagles Lodge is located at 411 Burris St.

Newlyweds Tonya and Brandon Graham are recovering from a car accident they were in the day after Christmas. Their 4-month-old baby who was in the car with them was unharmed. The couple is also raising four other children. A benefit dinner and dance is being held Saturday at the Fredericktown Eagles Lodge to help meet their financial needs.

Newlyweds Tonya and Brandon Graham are recovering from a car accident they were in the day after Christmas. Their 4-month-old baby who was in the car with them was unharmed. The couple is also raising four other children. A benefit dinner and dance is being held Saturday at the Fredericktown Eagles Lodge to help meet their financial needs.

While Tonya Graham is now back home with her husband, Brandon, she had to be airlifted to a St. Louis hospital immediately after the couple's Dec. 26 car accident and had to undergo a number of surgeries for the serious injuries she received. While the medical bills are mounting, Brandon is unable to return to work.

While Tonya Graham is now back home with her husband, Brandon, she had to be airlifted to a St. Louis hospital immediately after the couple’s Dec. 26 car accident and had to undergo a number of surgeries for the serious injuries she received. While the medical bills are mounting, Brandon is unable to return to work.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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