5 days after the demise of her daughter, Traci Yeaton struggled to jot down her obituary.
FORT KENT, Maine — 5 days after the demise of her daughter, Traci Yeaton struggled to jot down her obituary.
“I can’t get previous the primary two phrases, ‘Kelsey Jane … ’,” Yeaton stated.
Kelsey Jane Whitely, 28, died unexpectedly the morning of Thursday, Might 27, throughout a head-on collision that additionally critically injured the opposite driver, Chantal Hayes, 44, additionally from Fort Kent.
Whitely, a registered nurse, was returning to her house in Fort Kent from a midnight shift at Northern Mild A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque isle when her automobile crossed the centerline of Route 161 in Madawaska Lake.
“It’s not the cellphone name I ever thought I’d get, not Kelsey,” Yeaton stated.
Kelsey Whitely had a lot to dwell for — a loving husband, Ricardo Whitely, and the couple’s two younger youngsters, daughter Jacelynn, a pre-kindergarten pupil, and son Javaughn, born simply three months in the past.
The younger spouse and mom was additionally closing in on a grasp’s diploma in nursing, and in a matter of months would have fulfilled her dream of turning into a nurse practitioner.
Kelsey Whitely had only in the near past returned to work following the beginning of her son, and was keen about nursing.
“She needed to present again and to assist folks,” Ricardo Whitely stated.
Hayes, a single mom of three youngsters — daughter Karis, 18, and sons Joah, 8, and Malachi, 6 — was touring from her house in Fort Kent to her job as director at Extremely Physique Contour Med Spa in Presque Isle when the crash occurred. She stays hospitalized at Northern Mild Jap Maine Medical Heart in Bangor.
“It’s a tragedy all the best way round,” Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes, Chantal Hayes’ brother, stated. “You may have two hardworking moms working to supply for his or her households touring to and from work. After we pray for Chantal we additionally pray for the Whitely household. There’s a husband and youngsters who don’t have their mom in any respect and our coronary heart goes out to them.”
Initially from Wilton, Kelsey Whitely moved north to attend the College of Maine at Fort Kent, the place she earned her bachelor’s diploma in nursing and located the love of her life in fellow pupil Ricardo Whitely, a soccer participant from Jamaica.
The couple met at a school dance the place Ricardo Whitely was enamored by his future spouse’s smile and character.
“It simply clicked,” Ricardo Whitely stated. “ whenever you meet somebody if it feels proper. She was an excellent human being, .”
Kelsey heard a calling to develop into a nurse as a toddler, whereas serving to to look after her former stepfather throughout his battle with most cancers.
“Some individuals are candy. Kelsey was actually candy, so variety, simply very variety,” Yeaton stated.
“She had lots of drive and would do something for her household.”
Ricardo Whitely, a particular training tech and soccer and tennis coach for SAD 27, stated his spouse was “the rock of the household.”
Kelsey Whitely revered her husband’s love of sports activities, attending soccer video games at UMFK and video games he coached for highschool college students.
She additionally appreciated her husband’s cultural heritage and mastered the artwork of cooking his favourite meal — rice and peas.
On the time of Kelsey Whitely’s demise, the couple was planning a return journey to Jamaica to spend time with Ricardo’s household.
She was a faithful mom to her youngsters and would learn to them nightly and spend time doing arts and crafts with Jacelynn.
“She leaves me with two angels,” Ricardo Whitely stated. “I’ll take it day-to-day to do the perfect I can for them.”
Yeaton stated her grandchildren are what has saved her going since shedding her daughter.
“It’s my survival,” she stated. “When Javaughn wakes up with slightly smile on his face I can really smile — the identical with Jacelynn.”
“If she even had an opportunity in that automobile she would have finished something to get again to them. They had been her world,” Yeaton added. “They may each know her; I assure they may know who their mom was. Kelsey won’t be forgotten.”
Earlier than the accident, Chantal Hayes served as a worship chief and singer for her church, AGAPE Christian Fellowship in Fort Kent.
Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes stated an important issues in his sister’s life are God and household.
“Her youngsters are her world and serving God and being a lightweight and ministering to others, her hope and her pleasure that she has in Christ, sharing that with different folks is what makes her tick ,” he stated.
The brother and sister share a particular bond.
“Chantal and I are what they name ‘Irish Twins’,” Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes stated. “We had been born 11 months aside in the identical calendar 12 months. As preacher’s youngsters we traveled and moved rather a lot, so she and I’ve at all times been shut. She is me in a skirt or I’m her in a kilt. By way of marriages and divorces, and household tragedies, like when her husband [Karis’ father] drowned in Lengthy Lake years in the past, we’ve at all times been one another’s anchor.”
Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes instantly rushed to be close to his sister, who was transported to the Bangor hospital by a LifeFlight helicopter.
“She had a number of damaged ribs, damaged leg, damaged foot, and worst of all a shattered pelvic bone,” he stated. “She had contusions to each her coronary heart and lungs. Her lungs had been seeping air into her chest cavity and one among her lungs had collapsed.”
Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes and his spouse Tammie Hayes gathered Chantal’s daughter Karis, who will graduate from Fort Kent Group Excessive Faculty subsequent week, and instantly headed to Bangor.
The household has needed to take turns being by Chantal’s aspect, as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions that restrict the variety of hospital guests.
Chantal Hayes, who had taught aerobics and kickboxing, has remained in an induced coma and undergone a number of surgical procedures within the week for the reason that accident, together with trauma surgical procedure to cease inner bleeding and orthopedic surgical procedures to her foot, hip and pelvis, with future surgical procedures anticipated.
“The docs stated their purpose, if all the pieces goes properly, Chantal will be capable of stroll on stage surfaces with out ache,” Jonathan Nathaniel Hayes stated. “As a household of religion, the docs’ purpose is our baseline for what we’re believing her restoration goes to be.”
“Proper now her physique is de facto weak however her soul and her spirit are making up for that weak point with unbelievable power that’s seeing her by means of this proper now,” he added.
GoFundMe pages have been arrange for the households of Kelsey Whitely and Chantal Hayes. There’s additionally a “Household Means All the things — $10 Sponsor Spot” fundraiser on Fb to assist elevate cash for the Hayes household to go to Chantal on the Bangor hospital.
The general public is invited to attend providers for Kelsey Whitely at 11 a.m. on June 12, at St. John Vianney Parish. A gathering to reminisce about Whitely will observe at Riverside Park.