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Hamilton community raises money for injured local

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Feb 11 2013 08:37:45 AM MST
HAMILTON, Mont. -

The Hamilton community is raising money for a local man who was badly injured in a late January accident.

Family and friends have been arranging fundraisers to help cover 24-year-old Jonathan Couch's expensive recovery.  

Sunday afternoon NBC Montana caught up with Couch’s close friends and family to get the full story.

“He's an ox he's one of the strongest guys I know both physically and mentally and if anybody else can pull through it it's going to be him,” said John Rankin, one of Couch’s longtime best friends.

Rankin says it’s been difficult watching his buddy go through such a tragic ordeal, but he's thankful Couch's fiancée Gabbie is by his side.

“She's in Seattle with him and at his side 24/7,” said Rankin.  “Whether it's cleaning his wounds or bringing him any necessities, anything.”

Gabbie's mother, Bridgid Jarrett, put together a Facebook page called 'Jon Couch Update' where she keeps the community filled in on his condition.  It also lets Gabbie and Couch read the many supportive comments posted on the page.  

“He was not expected to live through this and he did; he was not expected to walk again and now he will likely walk,” said Jarrett.  “We feel like he's doing his part and we should just do our part to bring him home.”

The accident left Couch with a number of serious injuries including internal bleeding, facial fractures, multiple fractures to his sacrum and pelvis, and significant damage to the left side of his body including his leg.  

Jarrett says she’s thankful Couch didn’t suffer any brain injuries or spinal cord damage.  

Rankin says he admires Couch’s positive attitude and optimism.

“Initially when he was told there was a possibility he may not walk again he asked well you know would I be able to get a plastic leg with a smile on his face,” said Rankin.  

Jarrett says it's a tragedy for the young couple to endure such hardships, as both have had to leave their jobs because of the ordeal, but she says she's proud of her daughter and the community for supporting couch.

“If you ever needed anyone to be there for you he'd be the one and Gabbie’s over there and everyone's seeing what a sacrifice she's making for him, but she would be the first one to tell you that he saved her,” said Jarrett.  “He saves her every day, so you know she's there for him and he's always been there for her.”

“Just days after the accident he's giving a thumbs-up letting us know he's okay,” said Rankin.  “That's the attitude we can expect moving forward from this guy you know and the sooner we can get our Couch back the better.”  

Jarrett told NBC Montana they’re hoping to have Couch back in Hamilton by July.

There is a bank account set up to help with Couch’s recovery costs and to help pay for his family and Gabbie to stay in Seattle with him while he recovers.

Donations can be made through any Wells Fargo Bank; the fund is called “Jon Couch Benefit Fund.”  You can call your local Wells Fargo to work with a bank representative or phone Wells Fargo of Missoula.
You can also mail donations to Couch’s employer Meridian Drywall Supply.  

Couch’s friends and family are holding a singles auction to raise money; the event will be on March 8th at the Silver Coin in Hamilton.  

Jarrett says for the best up-to-date information on Couch’s condition or to find out when other fundraisers will be held she suggests checking the ‘Jon Couch Update’ page on Facebook.