Thanksgiving Day 2006

Julie Seymour Clings to Life

Visitation Held for Tina and Allaysa Porter


                While most of the nation’s families were brought together for a Thanksgiving feast and celebration, 3 Marissa, IL families were dealing with tragic losses within their own.  Thanksgiving services were held Thursday for Tina Porter and daughter Allaysa at the Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo, IL.  Ken and Donna Calvert prepared for Friday services and a Saturday burial for their beloved daughter Donna.  Family members of Julie Seymour would remain at her bedside at Cardinal Glennon’s Children Hospital in St. Louis.  Julie age 12 is the lone survivor from the train crash last Monday morning in Marissa, which left 3 others dead.  Julie was tossed some 30 plus feet after the SUV she was traveling in was struck by a Union Pacific freight train.  Doctors list her as critical with massive internal organ trauma and head injuries.  Julie has remained unconscious and on life support since the accident.  The severe jolt she took has caused shifting in her major organs including her heart.  Poor blood circulation to her limbs is a problem and doctors may need to amputate at least on of Julie’s arms.  T.E.A.R.S. representatives Helen Byrd and Margie McCaleb visited with Julie and her mother Diane Purviance Thursday morning.  The medical staff along with Diane informed us her prognosis is poor at this time.  Should Julie some how survive, it remains unclear as to what type of life might be left for her.  Through T.E.A.R.S. the hospital will provide food for family members and friends that have been “camping out” near Julie’s bedside.  “We are currently working with the hospital to see that everyone has food available throughout the long haul.  T.E.A.R.S. is also seeking donations for the family,” noted Representative Helen Byrd, who made the holiday trip from the Chicago suburb of Lombard.  Also making the trip and typically distributed to the victims family was a white stuffed bear known as “Paws”.  The cute collectable polar bear made by TY Inc. was Kristen Bowen’s favorite stuffed animal and has found its way to all too many memorial sites throughout the state.  A paws is given to the families as a symbol of faith and hope! 

                T.E.A.R.S. President Ray Zukowski while investigating another train collision nearby where 3 teens were injured asked for support and prayers.  “It is not often we have survivors, especially from a wreck like this.  Trains prove to be very unforgiving.  Support groups everywhere are praying for Julie and her family, as well as for those we lost.”