life can turn on a dime

Yesterday afternoon, our older son had a biking accident.

His back is broken in three places. There is no nerve or brain damage. We are in the Surgery, Trauma, and Burn ICU at the University of Virginia. As of this morning, we are waiting for an MRI; this will tell us whether or not he will need a brace (the more likely scenario, I think), or surgery.

He will heal.
We are calm…and very, very tired.

Love to all of you.


  • Caroline

    Hi big brother. I miss you and hope you come home soon. 🙂
    Love Caroline.
    P.S. don't mack me do all of your work.

  • Misha

    We, too, are going through a very severe medical trauma. I am adding my prayers and sending gentle hugs. (I know that tired feeling so well and am praying especially for strength both emotionally and physically for you and your husband and for comfort for all your sweet kids.)

  • Unknown

    I read your blog regularly and refer to it for a recipe, at least once a day, for the last three years. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the photo of your son and read the post Life certainly does have a way of bringing a mixed bag of the good and the bad stuff. Wishing your son a speedy recovery–and your family some peace while he heals.

  • Unknown

    Not a big commenter but I've always loved your writing and your lifestyle. Praying for you and your family this morning. God is good all the time! He is our refuge and strength, an every present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

  • Mama Pea

    What a shock and truly heart-stopping moment to read this post. He is young and healthy. He has so many good things going on in his life along with a loving, strong support system in his family and friends and all of us out here in Blogland. That support is there for you, your husband and the other kids, too. Sending prayers for complete and rapid healing.

  • Jennifer

    My husband has had a few bike accidents in his time, too, but none involved a broken back. (As far as I know, I guess; they were all before I knew him.) Now is when random, distant, anonymous blog readers like me are grateful that you are surrounded by family and friends who can help you in the more tangible ways that we can't. But what I can do is keep you and your family in my thoughts. I hope that all goes well in the next few days and weeks of recovery.

  • Camille

    Praying for you all….so sorry you are all going through this…what an incredibly frightening thing to face. Big Mama Hugs to you, my friend. XOXO

  • DnD_Saga

    So glad to hear that everything is as good as it could have been. Thinking of you and your family in this long road to recovery. So many prayers and healing thoughts for your son and your family.

  • Alysha

    Wasn't expecting to see that heart stopping photo this Monday. I'm so sorry! Teenage bones do heal quicker than our old one's. Hoping all will be well in the end. Lots of healing being sent from Seattle.

  • Ann in MN

    Oh Jennifer, my heart just skipped a beat when I saw that picture of your son come up on my screen. You are all in my prayers.

  • GeorgiaHoneyBee

    You do not know me, but I've been reading every post for about two years now. We are praying for your son and your family. May God bless and keep you.

  • Hillary

    Hi there honey…as a long time reader I was so saddened to hear this! Wishing you guys love and peace over here from NYC.

  • Bridget

    My son had a very similar accident two years ago. Back broken in four places. He healed pretty quickly. We were surprised at how quickly. I know it's scary now. Hope this helps. Wishing you healing and comfort.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Thank you, Bridget. His breaks are at C5, T8, and T9 (and maybe T7?). The worst one is T8—for that break, all three bones are broken straight across. The MRI will tell us if there is ligament damage, which will in turn tell us if he needs surgery. (Or something like that. It's kind of a blur.) Did your son need to have surgery? A brace?

    • Unknown

      my son too had a severe accident and was hospitalized with a broken back (with nerve damage), a broken pelvis and a shattered knee–initially he was paralyzed but he overcame the odds and is now walking and enjoying his "second chance at life"! You son will do the same–tell him to never give up and to think positive thoughts–the prayers from others will help him too! Please know that we are thinking and praying for his recovery.

  • JJ

    I'm not a big commenter, but your blog has brought me many small moments of peace and happiness. I'm hoping and praying for the same for you and your family soon. As a doc I can tell you that kids heal way better than we old folks do. And your son is in good hands at UVA.

  • Margo

    dear Murches, we will pray for you all. thank you for the letting us know – hugs and love from our distance. . . as a family of bicyclists, we are so sorry to hear this.

  • Unknown

    I'm so, so sorry. We know all too well how quickly accidents happen. You are in good hands at UVA. Praying for God's healing power and for strength for you. -Cindy Smoker

  • Aili

    Thank you for this update. I was there when it happened and saw it out of the corner of my eye, but it was unclear how severe his injuries were. I'm forever grateful that our congregation has so many nurses–Erika was only a few yards from Jonathan when this happened and she responded immediately. Although it was scary, I felt at peace as I watched her (and stayed out of the way!), knowing that he was getting the best possible care in that moment, and it sounds like that's where you are, too.

    We'll be praying for his healing.

  • Anonymous

    I rarely comment, but I read your blog constantly and thoroughly enjoy your posts. My thoughts and wishes for a good recovery are with your son. Sally from Perth, Western Australia

  • Melodie

    Oh my. What a photo and so sorry for your whole family. I'm glad to hear there is no nerve or brain damage. May your calm and peaceful spirit continue and so many prayers are with you all.

  • Unknown

    OH…So sorry to hear this!!! My mother heart is hurting for you and him. But so grateful he will heal and that there is no nerve and brain damage.

  • Laura

    I'm a long time reader of your blog, but I never comment. I just want to tell you that your son is in my prayers. And I pray God gives your family strength as you face the days ahead.

    Our family continues to pray for you!

    Isaiah 40:29-31
    29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

    30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

    31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

    3 John 1:2
    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

  • Becky

    How terrifying. Sending good thoughts and if you need anything, please let me know. Not only are we close by, we'll be up there this afternoon visiting a friend of my daughter's.

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