Family members describe impact of defective airbag that left woman paralyzed

by: Samantha Manning Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The daughter and granddaughter of a woman paralyzed from a defective airbag spoke with Action News Jax about the emotional toll her injuries have had on the family.

Attorneys for Patricia Mincey filed a lawsuit against Honda and Takata last month claiming the company knew about the defective airbags a decade before Mincey's accident.

"I know that she'll get through it one way or another," Mincey's granddaughter Paige Hay said.

Hay said her grandmother is one of her best friends.

Before Mincey's accident, they would go shopping and go to church together but Mincey is now unable to leave her hospital bed in Tampa.


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"Having to see her lay there and not talk to me when I try to talk to her, it's really hard," Hay said.

Mincey was involved in a car crash in June on the Southside.

Her attorney and family members said they believe she should have walked away with minor injuries but the impact of the defective airbag broke her spine leaving her a quadriplegic.

"She's on a ventilator," Mincey's daughter Kelly Sims said. "She's on a feeding tube. My best hope for her right now is for her to get off the ventilator completely or at least half the time."

Sims cares for her mother in Tampa.

Sims left her job and stays at hotels each week to be by her mom's side.

Between the hospital bills and traveling, Sims said the cost has likely been more than $1 million so far.


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"Essentially this has become my life," Sims said. "My whole job is just getting up and being at the hospital with my mom every day."

Sims said she hopes the lawsuit will deliver justice for her mom and prevent other families from going through the same heartache.

"Things will never be the same for my mom," Sims said. "Her life has in many ways been really ruined by this. No amount of money or changes to any laws will help her at this point other than to give her peace of mind that no one else will go through what she's gone through."

Sims said the family is hoping to transfer Mincey from Tampa to a Jacksonville-area hospital so that she's closer to her loved ones but they haven't had any luck so far.

Sims said she has not been able to find a local hospital willing to take Mincey in at this point.

She said some hospitals cited low bed space while others said they can not accommodate a lateral move for patients.