Josh Shilling, Mountain Heart lead singer and popular Nashville bluegrass songwriter, was involved in a serious accident in mid-March when he, his wife, Aleah, and their oldest daughter, were thrown from an ATV while on vacation. Fortunately, Bella Kate, aged six, was least seriously affected, but Josh and Aleah were both badly injured.
John Netherton, a good friend of theirs, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family with incidental expenses. The Shillings were insured and their primary hospitalization costs are largely covered, but with loss of work and therapy charges, it could run into quite a sum. In a recent conversation, Josh expressed some doubt about making a public appeal like this, but his friend John went ahead and did it all the same, noting that with charges for the three of them, meeting deductibles alone is likely to cost $12,000-$15,000.
Aleah’s injuries involved her being struck in the head upon falling, and she and Josh have both received multiple scans to diagnose any hidden issues. Josh is currently in a back brace, having two broken vertebrae and four others compressed. Both of them have pain and numbness issues and hope to know more after additional MRIs this week. Since their accident happened while they were visiting in Raleigh, NC, initial treatments were provided at Duke University Hospital, but they are home now receiving follow-up care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
For Josh, the best news is that neither his hands nor his voice were affected, so there is nothing to stop him plying his trade once healing is complete. Aleah works as a programmer, and should likewise be able to return to work. She also suffered broken vertebrae and is currently in constant pain. But neither show any signs of paralysis, so they are thankful that their injuries were not worse. ATV accidents prove fatal in many cases, and the Shillings are grateful every day that Bella Kate had been wearing a helmet.
And as dutiful and loving parents, they are mostly concerned about their daughter, not so much for her injuries but for the impact of seeing her mom knocked unconscious. Josh said that their daughter was actually praying over her mom when the accident occurred.
He says that they are deeply grateful, not only for donations given at GoFundMe, but for all the prayers and wishes of support. If you feel called to donate, be assured of their thanks, and for every prayer as well, which Josh says are sincerely felt.
Get well soon, Josh, Aleah, and Bella Kate!