Hit-and-run victim Heather Elliott speaks
Seventeen-year-old shares message for driver who left her
The 17-year-old has a message for the driver who left her. Video by kgun9.com
Hit-and-run victim Heather Elliott
An X-ray shows the device doctors attached to Heather's spine. Courtesy Christopher Perfetto
An X-ray from another angle shows the device doctors attached to Heather's spine. Courtesy Christopher Perfetto
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The victim of an unsolved hit-and-run
speaks, and the 17-year-old has a message for the driver who left her. Thursday evening, Heather Elliott shared that message just before her Christmas wish came true.
For the past ten days, Heather has been in a hospital bed at the University of Arizona Medical Center.
“I have sharp pains that occasionally find themselves in my lower back,” the Pima Community College student and Tucsonan said. “It comes and goes as it pleases. It spasms.” KGUN9 News reporter Kevin Keen asked, “How does it feel?” She answered, “It feels like somebody's sticking a hot needle--a few hot needles, actually--sticking them in a place in your back.”
That pain is the result of a seven-hour surgery
earlier this week. Doctors implanted pins and rods to stabilize her fractured spine.
“There's headaches as well?” Keen asked, at the side of her bed. “Lots. Lots of headaches and nausea. Sometimes at the same time.”
Heather is still frustrated she can't remember anything from the morning of the hit-and-run, but is comforted by the outpouring of support from friends and strangers
. “It's all helped me to get through this faster,” she said. “Apparently the healing process has been completed so far very well.”
Healing but no closure. The search for the driver did this continues without success.
“Would you still like to know who that person is?” Keen asked. “Very much so,” Heather replied. She explained: “They left me in the rain. They hit me with their car and then ran away. I want to know why.”
“Do you have hope that that person will come forward or that you'll find that person?” Keen asked. “I do. I hope that they'll come by and actually get the nerve to actually say something. I want to be so blunt. I hope they grow a pair and come say something because I want to know.” She said if someone came forward and admitted the mistake, she’d forgive him or her.
Then, on Thursday evening, an event that made Heather smile: she got to go home. In preparation, her mother and a nurse strapped on a back brace and then a neck brace. In a wheelchair and exhausted, she headed to a van. She rode home holding her stuffed animal named Booger.
Heather will need her braces at home, as well as a walker. She'll be undergoing extensive physical therapy. The pins and rods in her spine will stay there for at least a year.
If you have any information on Heather’s case, call 88-CRIME or 9-1-1.