‘He was a hero to his church family’
TUCSON, Ariz. — Until a clear, crisp Saturday morning erupted…
A 20-year-old member of a Church of Christ in Missouri has died from injuries suffered in a March 8 auto accident while driving home for spring break from Harding University.
Mary Joy Uebelein, a junior nursing major and member of the Lafayette Church of Christ in Ballwin, Mo., spent eight days in the intensive care unit of a St. Louis hospital before her death Saturday morning.
Her sister, Rachel, also was injured in the accident, sustaining a concussion.
“During her time in the ICU, Mary Joy underwent multiple procedures and surgeries to try to heal her brain,” family members posted to social media, “as well as to fix the multitude of broken bones she suffered.”
To help with the Uebelein family’s medical expenses, friends launched a gofundme page, which has reached nearly $35,000 of its $40,000 goal.
The Uebelein sisters were traveling on U.S. Highway 67, about an hour from their home in Wildwood, Mo., when a Chevrolet pickup driven by David M. Schwartzkopf, 60, clipped the back of their Ford Fusion. The car “ran off the road and then crossed the center median and continued into the southbound lanes, where the front of the Fusion struck the left side of a southbound big rig,” the Jefferson County Leader reports.
Harding, a university associated with Churches of Christ, will host a vigil on its Searcy, Ark., campus for Mary Joy Uebelein next week. Her older brother, Caleb, also is a student in Harding’s pharmacy program.
Meanwhile, friends have posted tributes on social media.
“I always have been and always will be inspired by the kindness that you showed to everyone you met,” wrote Charlie Wefelmeyer, a student at the University of Alabama, “and the infectious (and perpetually present) smile that you would always greet me with. Love you always MJ.”
Her home congregation posted a poem she wrote as a tribute to her life:
“Because of Jesus:
You are enough.
You are secure.
You are cared for.
You are seen.
You are forgiven.
You are free.
You have hope.
And you are made to be His beloved.”
Many of those who knew and loved Mary Jo have reached out to the Chronicle letting us know she was a registered organ donor and upon her death her organs were donated to help others.
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