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October 31, 2002

Event to benefit victims of buggy wreck

From: Asjeboro Courier Tribune, NC
Oct. 31, 2002

By Judi Brinegar
Staff Writer, The Courier-Tribune

ERECT - Ched and Karren Chriscoe met as teenagers at Trinity High School and married in 1987.

Both were hearing-impaired and suited each other in many ways. They lived full lives and were the parents of two children, Christopher and Holly.

Then tragedy struck the family. A benefit supper and auction will be held Saturday to help with their needs.

In June, Karren, 32, died as the result of a buggy accident near the family home on Fork Creek Mill Road in the Erect community.

That day the family had just returned from a birthday party when they decided to take their new donkey out for a buggy ride. The donkey had wandered off of the paved road onto the grass, so Ched got out of the buggy to guide the animal back onto the road.

A vehicle, driven by neighbor, rear-ended the buggy. Injuries sent all four family members to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

"At Chapel Hill, the doctors told us that things did not look good for Ched and gave us very little chance that he would live," said Tina Chriscoe, his aunt. "He spent 38 days at Chapel Hill and 35 days at Wake Med in Raleigh.

Ched, 38, suffered internal injuries, brain injuries, broken bones and because of head trauma, suffered a stroke that affected his vision and his left side.

"He is working very hard in therapy and when we take him to the doctor, they cannot believe that he is the same person they saw back in June," said Tina. "He smiles and signs to me that God toughens him and helps him.

"Ched has come a long way but still has a long road ahead of him. He is still in a wheelchair and can use a walker in the house. He will be going back to Chapel Hill for more surgery in December and February."

Christopher is a sixth-grader and Holly a fourth-grader at Faith Christian School in Ramseur.

Christopher suffered from broken ribs and a cut on his liver in the accident, while Holly broke her hand and suffered a blood clot on her brain. Both are now back in school and doing well.

Tina Chriscoe is very close to the family, as is Ched's other aunt, Elsie Johnson.

"Tina is only five months older than Ched, so they grew up together like brother and sister," said Johnson. "One of the ladies at our church said that Tina truly has a servant's heart - she stayed with Ched the whole time he was in the hospital.

"I moved in and became Mama to Christopher and Holly - this whole thing has brought our family much closer together. My 19-year-old son Jerry Lee (Crabtree) took over the farm while Ched's dad Roy was with him at the hospital and my daughter Jennifer (Whitley) tutors the kids every night after she gets home."

Ched's mother, Jeanette Chriscoe, had always helped the children with their homework and helped the whole family out until she died of cancer in December.

"Roy and Jeanette Chriscoe, Ched's parents, built a connecting apartment on to their home for Ched and Karren," said Faye Johnson, wife of the pastor at Trinity Wesleyan Church, the Chriscoes' church. "Jeanette died of cancer in December and the family was just getting over it when this happened."

The young family was highly involved in church activities. Karren had just started teaching a sign language class at the church when the accident occurred.

"She was just bubbling over after that first class," Johnson said. "Karren and Ched also mowed the church lawn, and she cleaned the church - they were such a hard-working couple and such soul-mates.

"Ched is very aware of everything - now he is back at church every Sunday and most Wednesday nights, too."

Looking forward to the day he can go back to work on the family farm (the Chriscoes operate a 8,000-pig farm, lease out two chicken houses and have goats, cows and horses), Tina said that Ched's love for his children and dad keep him going.

"Ched, Christopher, Holly and Roy all miss Karren very deeply," said Tina, who is close to Ched. "He talks about her every day - his comment is that Karren is in Heaven with Jesus and can now speak and hear.

"It's hard to understand why things happen the way they do but Ched has a strong faith in God. Elsie talks about her daily blessings when she is working and caring for him and I feel blessed to have a brother like Ched and I feel blessed to be in his presence and have the opportunity to help him and the kids."

Both children are seeing a counselor to help them deal with this tragedy.

"They are doing good all around - we laugh and talk and cry about it, just try to keep things as normal as possible for them," said Johnson.

"When Holly and Christopher say their blessings, the remember to thank God for those blessings and are so happy about how the churches and everyone have reached out to them."

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Trinity Wesleyan Church, 3224 Trinity Church Road, Seagrove will host a BBQ benefit and silent auction for the Chriscoe family Nov. 2, beginning at 11 a.m. BBQ or chicken plates are $5 each and include pintos, slaw, drink, hush puppies, and dessert; child's plate (ages 4-10 years old) $2.50; ages 3 and under free. Entertainment by Tim Moon and the Truegrass Band from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Take-out orders are available. For more information, call 879-5222. A fund for the Chriscoe children has been established at First National Bank, 204 E. Main St., Seagrove. For more information, call 873-7711.

Copyright 2002, Stephens Media Group