WOODSTOCK, Ga. - A Cherokee County teen who suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a suspected drunken driver is making big strides toward her recovery.
Emily Bowman was walking along an Athens street in February 2013 when she was hit by a red truck from behind. The driver fled the scene, police said.
After spending months at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, Bowman went to her family’s Woodstock home to recover.
Late Wednesday night, Bowman’s family shared a video of her first words since the crash.
“For it to have been so long to hear that, I just can't tell you how excited I was,” said Emily’s mother, Debbie Bowman.
For Debbie and Dale Bowman, it's been more than a year since they've heard their daughter’s voice.
According to the family, Bowman is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday.
Bowman’s mother described the major step in a post to their Facebook page.
“…so when I pulled in driveway I said shoo Emily we are finally home and her nurse Yvonne said Em we are home Say home and Emily said ‘H O M E’ and it was loud enough that I heard it sitting up front - I opened that front car door so fast and went running back to the back where Emily was and said Emily did you just say home and to say home again and she said ‘home.’”
“14 months we've been waiting and it’s been a long 14 months but it’s well worth the wait,” Debbie said.
Channel 2’s Erin Coleman visited the Bowman’s home in March. She had progressed from writing her name on an iPad to answering basic questions using the tablet.
“Hopefully (she will be) walking and talking, you know, that's yet to be seen. That's just what we hope and pray for,” her father, Dale Bowman, said last month.
William Heaton Jr. was arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run, DUI, serious injury by a motor vehicle, failure to maintain a lane, open container and reckless driving.