On the morning of Sunday, February 16, 1997, our car was rear ended by a drunk driver. We flew off the freeway, flipped front to back three times, and I was ejected out of the back seat. I landed face-first and sustained several life threatening injuries, including a fractured spine, an orbital fracture around my left eye, and bleeding and swelling in my brain.
When I was airlifted to Loma Linda hospital, my family was able to stay at a Ronald McDonald home right next to the hospital so they could be there for me when I regained consciousness. And when I woke up in the middle of the night three days later, my parents were there for me in seconds. They told me they would not leave the hospital without me, and that was all I needed to hear.
Then almost 10 years later my brother, Jacob Nelson, passed away from injuries he sustained in a car accident. There was no house for us to rest in. My parents realized that we needed a home in Temecula for families to stay while their loved ones are hospitalized in the ICU at no cost. These experiences inspired my family to create Jacob’s House, to honor my brother and my Dad for serving our community as a City Manager, and to impact lives in a positive way. Since the founding of Jacob’s House, we have welcomed over 1,000 guests from 42 states and 12 countries, ensuring that these families have a safe place to rest their heads and be as close as possible to their loved ones who are experiencing trauma.