By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News
A 20-year-old journalism student who was hit by a car on May 3 at 10301 RM 2222 near River Place is recovering slowly. She’ll have to learn to walk again with her pelvis fractured in multiple areas but she has been moved from ICU and sat in a chair in her hospital room on May 14.
“(Rae) still has a long way to go but she’s fighting hard and showing improvement,” Valeta Jones stated on Monday on the GoFundMe page entitled “Compassion Counts”.
Jones is taking Rae under her wing. Rae doesn’t have insurance or family support at this time.
“When I found out that (Rae) had nowhere to go and no family support, without a second thought I took her in,” stated Jones.
“(Sunday) was a great day for her and one of the best Mother’s Day gifts ever. (Rae) spent several hours sitting in a chair! Her speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy all went well,” added Jones.
Chantal Locke, an Austin Police Department motorcycle officer and a first responder to the May 3 accident, helped create the GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.
“I have been approached by many who witnessed the crash and felt compelled to help this hopeful young, journalism student, who works part-time,” Locke said.
On May 3, Rae was struck by a 2017 Chevrolet car near the Riverlodge apartments and APD was called at 10:47 a.m.
“There was a crash with serious bodily injury,” the APD case report says.
Local resident Emily Fontana stopped to help at the scene on that Wednesday morning.
“We were at a place on 2222 where it is blind and it appeared that the young lady who was hit was not at a crosswalk,” Fontana said. “She was actually in the middle of the double, turn lane when I came upon her.”
The driver of the car who hit the young lady had stopped and “was terribly upset,” Fontana added.
She offered assistance but said so many people were already helping and it was covered.
“Our neighbors really stepped up to ensure that she and the driver stayed calm until EMS arrived,” Fontana said.
Rae was transported to Round Rock Medical Center at 11:12 a.m., according to an EMS report.
Eleven days later, on Sunday, May 14, Jones posted Rae was moved from an intensive care unit to an intermediate care unit, a positive step forward.
Rae had bleeding in her brain and multiple skull fractures.
“The bleeding in her brain is healing and she is more alert and able to speak,” Jones stated on Sunday. “The neurologist said it could be an entire year before she’s back to herself mentally.”
Rae has multiple breaks in her pelvis, she will have to learn to walk again. First she will have inpatient rehabilitation and then weeks later, outpatient rehab. She will need around the clock care while at home for some time.
“She also had a compound fracture/open wound in her left arm and many staples and stitches head to toe and extensive road rash on areas,” Jones posted.
Jones states that Rae realizes she in the hospital but does not remember why she’s in the hospital, and she forgets that she is unable to walk.
“She is still having trouble understanding that she can’t use the left side of her body for anything,” Jones stated.
Jones — who is financially stretched from a recent medical situation of her own, in addition to taking care of her two sons by herself — cannot fund Rae’s medical care on her own, and cannot add her to her insurance because she is not a legal guardian.
She added that Rae, not unlike many her age, couldn’t get insurance on her own and did not qualify for the insurance at her job yet.
The medical bills are mounting including multiple surgeries, ICU costs, a blood transfusion, and there will be the future expenses including rehabilitation, walker, wheelchair, medication and follow up visits.
Additionally, due to her extensive injuries, the family must move to a first floor apartment.
“Because we live in the 2nd floor of our apartments, we have been told by the doctor that we have to move and be able to prove that (Rae) had access to her home and all things in it, without stairs or steps, before she is released from inpatient rehabilitation,” Jones stated. “Being forced to move also will keep (Rae) from having to relive the accident every time we come home, since it happened right here.”
Locke helped Jones create the GoFundMe page and it launched on May 12. As of Tuesday morning, it raised just over $4,400.
“This is a long emotional battle, however each one of you are helping to ease it a bit,” Jones stated to the donors. “It is impossible for me to adequately express how much we appreciate each and every one of you.”