Friends raising funds for local student hit by SUV

COURTESY PHOTO | Katie Johnson was running across the street to meet her friends while away at college when she was struck by an SUV May 17.

Margo Moore will never forget the midnight phone call she received from the Monessen, Pa. sheriff’s department on May 17 and the feeling of helplessness that rushed over her.

Her daughter, Katie Johnson, had been struck by an SUV and was hospitalized with severe injuries.

“It was horrifying,” the Greenport mother said. “It was like no feeling I ever had.”

More than 400 miles away from her Greenport home, Ms. Johnson, a 20-year-old college student, was struck on a dark road while enjoying a Friday night out with friends and classmates at the Douglas Education Center.

She was running across the street to meet her friends when her shoe began to slip off and, as she bent over trying to fix it, she was hit by a Ford Explorer. The woman driving the SUV never saw Ms. Johnson, Ms. Moore said.

As a result of the accident, Ms. Johnson suffered multiple facial fractures, a fractured skull, a broken hip and pelvic injuries. Doctors say it will be at least three more months before she is strong enough to learn how to walk again.

Ms. Moore and husband, Garrett, stayed by their daughter’s side at a Pennsylvania hospital for two months during the first steps of her recovery.  Two weeks ago she was transported back the East End to receive further inpatient treatment at Westhampton Care Center.

“She is happy to be back on Long Island,” Ms. Moore said. “It’s been hard, but Katie is very resilient.”

Ms. Johnson has undergone extensive reconstructive surgery on her face and will endure months of rehabilitation, her mother said.

The Moore family is now trying to raise money to help with mounting medical bills and to retrofit their Fifth Street home to accommodate Ms. Johnson after she is released from the treatment center.

“We need a ramp, to widen doors, a new bathroom,” Ms. Moore said. “We have no idea how much it will cost.”

Rallying to support her daughter’s recovery are Ms. Moore’s friends and co-workers at Greenport IGA, where Ms. Johnson worked for two years while attending Greenport High School.

The supermarket has set up collection jars and other community members have held bake sales to assist the family.

Ms. Moore said the accident hasn’t stopped her daughter from looking forward to the future, adding that Ms. Johnson can’t wait to get back to school, where she’s enrolled in a special effects make-up program.

“She’s very talented,” Ms. Moore said. “We are so proud of her.”

The community is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Ms. Johnson on July 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Agnes Parish Hall in Greenport. Tickets are on sale at Greenport IGA for $15.

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