Joseph Green, 14, is in stable condition three weeks after being struck by a car in a marked crosswalk in Shoreline.
He is still in a coma, said his mother, Jennifer Green, but is able to move the left side of his body. A ninth-grader at Shorecrest High School in the fall, Joseph Green was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition on July 20.
“Those little signs give us hope that when he comes out of a coma, he will be able to start some physical therapy at Childrens Hospital,” Jennifer Green said.
Joseph Green’s most serious injury is his brain injury, said his mother, after his skull was cracked. His lungs also were badly bruised, she said, and he suffered broken and cracked ribs.
Jennifer Green is hopeful her son will soon awake from the coma, but acknowledges it may be weeks or months until he does so.
If Joseph Green is not able to start interacting soon, he will be transferred to remedial care, a nursing home for younger people. In order to be transferred to Childrens Hospital, he must be able to complete three hours of interactive physical therapy.
“That is what we were hoping would happen right away,” Jennifer Green said. “But unless he wakes up quick, it won’t happen.”
Both Jennifer Green and husband, Larry, who have five other children, have taken time off from their jobs. Jennifer Green works at Safeway, in Shoreline, and her husband is a distributor for Tim’s Cascade and other snack items.
Jennifer Green is unsure how the family will cover all medical expenses and said they are “too overwhelmed to even care at this point.”
Joseph Green was friends with Tia Townsend, the 11-year-old girl who died in 2002 after being struck in a North City crosswalk by a car driven by an elderly man. The two had been friends since kindergarten.
“It was heartwarming because Joe always felt that he wanted to be there for Tia’s dad, David Townsend,” Jennifer Green said. “He would take his own money and go buy flowers and bring them to David’s house on Tia’s birthday and the anniversary of her accident.”
She said her son not only supported Tia’s father with random visits, but would also go to city council meetings to advocate for safe crosswalks.
“I just want people to pray for my son, we are sure he will never be the same person,” Jennifer Green said. “But we hope that he can have a good life and overcome whatever obstacles are put his way as far as the brain injury goes.”
Green was struck at 8:30 a.m., July 20, while crossing 175th Street just west of I-5 in Shoreline. The westbound Oldsmobile that hit Green did not stop, but the driver was arrested later that day.
At the time of the incident, Joseph Green was walking with a friend west along N. 175th Street to an uncle’s house in Shoreline. He intended to catch a ride to Ballard, where he planned to help rebuild a house to earn extra money. Joseph Green crossed the street although the crosswalk light was red, said his friend.
The driver charged with hitting Green, Eric John King, 20, was traveling west on 175th Street to the Shoreline Courthouse. King had borrowed a friend’s car to travel to Shoreline, from his residence in Kenmore.
Pamela Steele, director of community relations for Harborview Medical Center, said a press conference was held Wednesday, Aug. 3, where doctors and Larry Green updated attendees on Joseph Green’s condition and urged drivers to be cautious. She said Joseph Green’s family members have been visiting him every day during his hospital stay.
“He is surrounded by a tremendous amount of love,” Steele said. “Both his family and the community are spending a lot of time wishing him well.”