The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

April 15, 2014

Mother of victim: Son was my hero

Expecting father reached out to protect wife, unborn child

(Continued)

That account was confirmed by John Keefe, Rebecca Sperry’s father, on Monday. The new mother suffered several injuries in the accident, including a torn uterus. Keefe was told by hospital officials that if the tear had been any worse, the baby would’ve been ejected, and likely would have perished.

Both Keefe and Cox called it a miracle.

Cox wasn’t surprised by her son’s bravery. She said Jesse was always her spiritual center and a guide through difficult times, particularly as she battled cancer a few years ago. He met his future wife at Pendleton Heights High School, where the two went to senior prom together. The sweethearts were close to celebrating their second year of marriage when Jesse was killed. When he found out he would be a father, Sperry picked up a second job so his wife could stop working and focus on her pregnancy. Sperry would still find time to contact his mother and visit her in Columbus. She called her son a very devoted Christian.

Cox recalled the last moments she spent with her son.

“It was that Saturday night before the accident, he came over to have dinner. I knew he was really excited about becoming a father, but he was also really nervous. He was a strong, tough outdoorsman, and here he was, being nervous about a baby. I was picking on him about that,” Cox said with a laugh. “It turned out to be our last meal together.”

With the memory of Jesse in their minds, the family members have turned their attention to helping Rebecca and Autumn Marie recover. Keefe said they’re hopeful the mother and baby can be reunited this week as Rebecca continues physical therapy. She’s expected to walk again, but the rehabilitation could take one to three weeks. Keefe said members of Edgewood Baptist have been extremely helpful in guiding the family through the tragedy. On Monday, friends from the church were at the home painting the baby’s room.

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