Athens hit-and-run victim moved to Shepherd Center for recovery

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Emily Bowman suffered a serious brain injury after an alleged drunk driver hit her while she was walking to a friend's house in Athens.

ATLANTA - The 19-year-old Kennesaw State student, who was struck in a hit-and-run crash in Athens, is now at an Atlanta rehab facility.

It's been a big week for the Bowman family. On Wednesday, the suspect in the hit-and-run crash turned himself in. And now, there's progress for Emily Bowman as she moves closer to home to rehabilitate.

"I told her this morning, first thing, I said, 'Emily we're getting ready to take a road trip," Emily's father, Dale Bowman, said.

Bowman told Channel 2's Wendy Corona that Emily did not respond to that news, but with her eyes wide open, they arrived at the Shepherd Center by ambulance around 1 p.m.

"We were sad to leave Athens this morning since they had taken such great care of her. Here today and that's just a great stride that she's took since the accident," Bowman said.

Since the hit-and-run on Feb. 16, Emily had been at the Athens Regional Medical Center in a coma and on a ventilator. Her family said she's now out of it and breathing on her own. This move now brings Emily closer to home and to recovery.

"This is just a breath of fresh air. We were ecstatic about getting over here and starting a new process," Bowman said.

Doctors said days of evaluations and assessments still need to be done and a program tailored to meet Emily's needs.

"We're going to get to know her and look at her from a rehabilitation perspective," Shepherd Center's Dr. Gerald Bilsky said. "Our job is to use interventions, both medication and therapy services, to see what we can do to help her along this journey, to help her get as good as she can be."

A fund has been set up to help offset some of the growing medical expenses. If you'd like to donate, you can do so at any Wells Fargo Bank under the Emily Taylor Bowman medical bill fund.

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