Jeff Nelms had emergency open-heart surgery last week and remained in a medically induced coma Monday afternoon.
Kelly Mankin Nelms said her husband remains connected to a ventilator.
“Every day I am just thankful we made it another day,” Kelly Nelms said.
On Jan. 11, Jeff Nelms, 28, was celebrating his wife’s 29th birthday with friends at The Place Bar & Grill, near the corner of Sandy Plains Road and Canton Road in Marietta.
His wife, Kelly Nelms, came out of the bar and accidentally bumped a truck owned by John Myer of Smyrna, said Katie Tatum, who has known the Nelmses for four years.
According to Tatum, Jeff Nelms intervened to protect his wife, when Myer exited the vehicle in an aggressive manner.
The verbal altercation escalated and Myer stabbed Nelms once in the chest with a pocketknife, the warrant said.
Myer, 28, fled the scene and was arrested at 2:22 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, on Shadybrook Drive on charges of aggravated assault, according to Marietta Police. Myer was released that afternoon on a $35,000 bond.
Kelly Nelms said the Marietta Police have talked to her, but not to her husband, about the night of the alleged attack.
The slow recovery
For more than a week, Jeff Nelms has been in the intensive-care unit, and doctors do not expect him to be released for another couple of weeks.
Kelly Nelms said she has not been thinking about her husband’s long-term care. For now, she is focused on getting him “into a regular unit” and off the ventilator so he can talk, Kelly Nelms said.
“I am going hour by hour, day by day,” Kelly Nelms said.
Jeff Nelms has been sedated and “in and out of sleep,” Kelly Nelms said. “He knows that we are there.”
Kelly Nelms is with her husband at the Kennestone hospital every night, but their children are not allowed in the intensive care unit.
The Nelmses are raising a 7-year-old daughter, Kennedy, and two sons, 2-year-old Henry and 4-month-old Max.
The children do not know their father was stabbed in the chest, just that he is sick.
Kelly Nelms said she is thankful for the excellent nurses at Kennestone hospital.
A community that cares
“We have amazing friends and family” and “support from people we don’t know,” Kelly Nelms said.
An online fundraising page, youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/jeff-nelms-fundraising-/126287, was set up by Jami Johnson for the Nelms family.
By Monday afternoon, the website had raised nearly $5,000 from 86 supporters with donations ranging from $10 to $450.
“He doesn’t have insurance and his work does not have short-term disability and he is the sole provider for his family, making the next few weeks incredibly difficult,” Johnson wrote online.
Jeff Nelms is an electrician who works for Cherry Electric in Smyrna and Kelly Nelms is a stay-at-home mom.