Athens hit-and-run survivor Emily Bowman goes home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Athens hit-and-run survivor Emily Bowman goes home

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After months in the hospital, a 19-year-old hit-and-run survivor got to return home on Thursday.

Emily Bowman has been in the hospital recovering from injuries after being struck by a suspected drunk driver as she walked in Athens in February.

Her parents have lived at the hospital the whole time, but just last week doctors at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta cleared her to return home.

"I said, ‘Emily, mom's going to take you home next week. Are you ready to go home?' And she kept looking right at me like she was really listening," said her mother, Debbie Bowman.  "'I said, 'If you are ready to go home could you just blink your eyes and tell me,' and she shut her eyes, and opened them back up and I was like, ‘Is that a fluke or what?'"

Bowman's condition leaves her in a wheelchair and requiring 24-7 care.

With the help of donations and dozens of volunteers, Sunshine on a Ranney Day renovated the Woodstock home to make it more accessible to Emily and her family.

"We started off with a wheelchair ramp out front so that Emily could come through easily with her wheelchair. We pulled up all the carpets and put hardwood floors down to make it easier for the wheelchair. And then we also tore out the half bathroom, linen closet and converted it into a full handicap bathroom," said Holly Ranney.

Without those changes, the family would have had to find someplace else to live. That made Thursday's homecoming just that much more special.

"It's bittersweet. You would've never expected this but I'm glad to see her here and have her closer to home,' said Camila Cardona.

"I'm so appreciative of everything that's been done for us," said Debbie Bowman.

Athens police have charged William Heaton with DUI, hit-and-run, and reckless driving.

A grand jury indicted Heaton earlier this month; he faces a July arraignment.

RELATED LINK: Bows for Bowman Facebook page

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