Teen hit-and-run victim ‘will not be the same’ after brain injury, mother says

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – The mother of a 13-year-old girl badly injured in a hit-and-run crash wrote on GoFundMe that her daughter “will not be the same” due to extensive, inoperable damage to her brain stem.

Lilly, a 13-year-old from Osprey, Florida, is fighting to survive after Florida Highway Patrol reported she was hit by a car while riding her bike in a crosswalk Tuesday, according to WWSB.

The family asked that Lilly’s last name not be published to protect her privacy.

Her mother wrote in an update on GoFundMe that doctors say the teen “will not be the same Lilly that we all know and love ever again” because of extensive damage to her brain stem, which she said is “inoperable” after the crash.

Her mother’s post goes on to write she’s unsure if Lilly will ever be “aware as you and I are,” as the family waits for the results of an MRI scheduled for Monday.

Despite the seriousness of her brain injuries, the family is hoping the 13-year-old can recover to the best of her abilities. However, she is expected to need long term care for the rest of her life.

Investigators say Lilly, a student at Pine View School, was on her bike in a school crosswalk, marked with flashing yellow lights and yellow signage, about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday when a dark silver sedan approached her, heading west.

The sedan hit the 13-year-old before fleeing the scene westbound.

Suspect David Chang was arrested the next day after he and his heavily damaged car were found at an auto-repair shop in Tampa. He bonded out of jail but is facing a string of charges, including leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash causing property damage and destroying evidence.

Lilly’s mother is feeling both gratitude toward community members who have stepped forward to donate tens of thousands of dollars to aid her daughter’s recover and other powerful emotions aimed at the man accused of putting her in the hospital.

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“I am struggling with feelings of anger at this horrible man who is walking around our community while Lilly is fighting for her life,” she wrote in the post. “The overwhelming feeling of unfairness comes in waves.”

The GoFundMe, set up for medical and travel expenses, has raised more than $85,000. Any money left over will be donated to All Children’s Hospital, Lilly’s mother says.

Chang is expected to appear in court on Sept. 30.

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