Normal Heights

Family Of Pedestrian Struck In Normal Heights Says Victim Is Fighting for Survival

A neighborhood is rallying around a young mother as her family prays she will overcome the odds

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A young mother is fighting to survive after she was hit by a car while walking a dog in Normal Heights.

NBC 7 first reported the accident on Friday but didn’t know the victim’s identity. Her family contacted NBC 7 over the weekend after seeing our story.

The mother and sister of 25-year-old Kerri O’Farrell say doctors have done all they can for the mother of three. She underwent brain surgery on Friday, but her brain is still too swollen to test. Still, her family remains hopeful – calling O’Farrell “a fighter.”

"It was devastating,” painfully recalls O’Farrell’s mother, Sharon Justice.

Last Thursday night, Justice says O’Farrell had bought a Christmas tree and ornaments. The family planned to decorate the tree together that evening at O’Farrell’s brother’s new place.

"We were having a big party,” says Justice. “And were waiting for her to come and she didn't show."

O’Farrell would never show.

As a favor to a senior couple next door, she took their dog for a walk.

Just before 7 p.m., O’Farrell crossed Adams Avenue on the corner of 34th Street. She almost made it to the sidewalk, when police say a car driving east down Adams struck her.

"To get a call like that it was pretty horrific,” says an emotional Justice. “It was awful."

Awful indeed. The impact killed the dog instantly. O’Farrell’s skull hit the windshield, suffering serious fractures.

"When we got there,” said Justice. “They thought she wouldn't live."

Even now, doctors tell her family the prognosis is not good.

“She moves her hands and her feet,” says O’Farrell’s older sister, Kimberly. “They tell us it's reflexes, but we just have to believe that it's her moving."

Her mother and sister believe in the power of prayer. Thanks to a GoFundMe account set up by a stranger to help cover O’Farrell’s hospital bill, the family says there is now a prayer network stretching from New Brunswick to Australia.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, a bar near the spot where O’Farrell was struck is doing their part to help the family. The Rabbit Hole is donating 15% of its sales on Dec. 16, to the family as well as hosting a fundraiser Monday night with raffle items donated by several businesses.

"Normal Heights is just kind of a big family it seems like,” says James Gomez, manager of The Rabbit Hole. "It's pretty awesome that everybody is coming together for somebody that people don't even really know. You know, they just know that somebody in the neighborhood needs help.”

"We're Christians so we believe that God can do anything,” says Justice. “We hold out faith for that. We want the best outcome for Kerri even though it may not be the best one for us."

San Diego Police say they are still investigating the collision, but at this time there is no reason to suspect the driver was negligent.

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