SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Alyssa Harris is starting out the new year battered and bruised but alive.
The 26-year-old woman says she knows how lucky she is, especially when she looks at all of her injuries and sees the damage left behind on the helmet she was wearing when she was dragged by a hit-and-run driver after crashing on her moped.
"Glad I had that helmet on too, because that's the one thing that really saved my life," Harris said Friday afternoon from her Orlando home.
Her family is also thankful she survived and is finally back home, especially her two young boys who are sad and confused about how their mother got hurt.
Harris underwent surgery to put two metal pins in her hip. She also suffered two broken ribs, road rash, deep cuts and bruising.
"They're scared to touch me, they don't want to come near me," Harris said.
Harris knows the wounds will heal.
But now the single mom is wondering what to do next, since she can't walk, she can't work, she has no insurance and now has no transportation.
That's because the moped she used to get to her job was damaged when it slipped on a wet spot on the pavement and toppled over.
Friends and family have started a GoFundMe page but so far they have only raised about $600.
But Harris is thankful that so many people have contributed what they could to the cause.
"I am very thankful and I'm glad you have helped me out," Harris said, hoping those who have donated will see this article.
Harris said she only remembers flashes of what happened the morning she was run over by a car along Aloma Avenue and Tuskawilla Road.
She said she remembers it was dark and she hit a slick wet spot on the road.
"And I felt that tire slide from under me and my first thought, 'Oh my God, I'm hurt,'" Harris said.
Then she said she saw headlights coming from an oncoming car.
"I'm going to die," Harris said was the last thought she had before blacking out. "And the next thing I know I am waking up in the corner of the 7-Eleven parking lot and I'm broken and in pain and screaming."
The Florida Highway Patrol released a photo of a black Nissan Pathfinder believed to have been involved in the hit-and-run.
Troopers said it was taken by a concerned citizen just moments after the incident.
At last check, agency officials said they have been in contact with the owner of the car, who is cooperating, and they are continuing their investigation.
But so far, Harris said she has not heard from the driver.
"I'd hope he'd be willing to help me out," Harris said. "I forgive him for hitting me, I really do. I'm just struggling."
Harris said she is very grateful for the two good Samaritans who stopped and helped her. She said one ran into the middle of the road to retrieve her wallet that had slipped from her pocket. The other was a woman who stayed with her while she called 911, and also called Harris' mom to let her know what had happened.
She said she is most thankful for the person who took the picture that helped FHP track down the driver of the car that hit her.
"Not sure who took that photograph, but I am glad they did, I really am," Harris said.
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