Updated:WOODSTOCK, Ga. —
Channel 2 Action News has learned that Emily Bowman, the Kennesaw
State student hit and seriously injured by a suspected drunken driver, is making significant strides in her recovery.
Channel 2’s Erin Coleman went to Bowman’s home in Woodstock Wednesday to check up on her progress.
Every day, Emily is getting stronger. She can hold her head up for long periods of time, she's regularly responding to commands and she can even fist-bump a reporter.
“Just facial expressions in general. The smile was the first thing and now she really smiles and she can give you a big old sad face. I'm really excited about where we can go with this,” said Debbie Bowman, Emily’s mother.
The last time we saw Emily in November, she had just written her name. Now, she's gone much further, responding to basic questions on an iPad.
“You can almost kind of have a conversation with her,” said Debbie
“It's hard not to have a smile around here. Her friends come by on a daily basis and everyday it's something new,” said Dale Bowman, Emily’s father.
In February of last year, Emily was visiting friends at UGA when, police said, she was hit by a suspected drunken driver who never stopped.
William Heaton, 22, pleaded not guilty in the case.
Bowman spent months in recovery, but last summer, she had to leave the Shepherd Center in Atlanta because she wasn't progressing.
Tuesday, after visiting the center, her family learned she can go back.
“Before we left Shepherd we went up on the second floor where she spent two months and some of the therapists saw her, couple of the nurses saw her, and just like you, they were just blown away,” said Debbie
It's what the Bowmans have been working toward for so long.
“I think physically she can gain a tremendous amount by going there,” Debbie said.
And they believe the next
six months will be transformative for a young woman who continues to fight.
“Hopefully (she will be) walking and talking, you know, that's yet to be seen. That's just what we hope and pray for,” said Dale.
The Bowmans expect Emily to start rehab at Shepherd’s Pathways facility in the next few weeks.