Survivor-shipIn September of 2004 while driving home from a vacation in eastern Oregon Inez, Jerel and their two children were in an accident. The Family Sport Utility Vehicle ended up rolling on the highway over 3 times. Inez slid up through the top of her seat-belt allowing her head to crash through the sunroof and make contact with the road. Jerel broke through the passenger window and his shoulder and right arm were pinned under the car when it came to rest. Jerel had a torn portion of his ear surgically reattached, a dislocated shoulder and has suffered nerve damage and head trauma. Inez’s skull had been crushed, after surgery and prayers, Inez survived; there are still staples in her scalp today a remnant of the surgery to piece her scalp together. When she was released from the hospital, doctor’s warned that chances for a full recovery were remote because of permanent effects of head trauma.

Upon release from the hospital, employment was difficult because of disability and enduring health conditions related to the accident. Jerel began study at Utah Valley University with the hope of retooling himself into a new career. Two years later Inez enrolled, in spite of academic challenges she faced from her traumatic brain injury. In 2010 Jerel graduated with honors from the Utah Valley University Bachelors of Fine Arts Program and in 2011 was accepted into Brigham Young University Masters of Fine Arts Program. Inez is now a graduate from the Utah Valley University Bachelors of Fine Arts Program in 2013 and has dreams of eventually pursuing a postgraduate program. The Harwoods are working together on their collaborative career in studio arts and architectural sculpture.

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