Wendy Ruther, the mother hit by a truck at 65th street and Broadway last Monday while walking her 3-year-old to school, is still in the hospital. She’s recovering from multiple surgeries to repair her broken leg and pelvis, as well as a raft of other ailments. The truck that hit her sped off and police are still looking for the driver.
We talked to her husband Aldo Lombardi today, and he sounded hopeful. Wendy has been in and out of consciousness with internal bleeding, blood clots and a filter placed into one of her main arteries. She needed surgery to her face too. But doctors have now gotten Wendy’s internal bleeding under control and she is awake and speaking. The path ahead will be a slog — weeks more in the hospital or rehab and then a return home in a wheelchair. It will likely be months before she can fully resume normal activities.
Their 3-year-old son Justin also was injured in the crash, but is up and about with soreness to his leg. They live on West 70th street and he goes to preschool at the YMCA on 63rd near Central Park West. Aldo now takes Justin to school, but he crosses Broadway at 70th street instead of 65th because of the trauma from the crash. “He’s still sore but mostly he misses his mother and he’s still wondering what happened. He doesn’t know why. When you’re a kid you just cross the street with your mom.”
Police are still investigating the crash and apparently have gotten a helpful lead from a witness, Aldo said.
Wendy and Justin were crossing with the light when they were hit, Aldo says; the car hit Wendy on her left and she shielded Justin, who was on her right. “We are happy it wasn’t worse,” said Aldo. “It would have been if they had been hit on the right, where Justin was. When the truck turned, she pushed him off.” Three of the truck wheels ran over Wendy, and Justin was also hit by one of the wheels.
Aldo, a graphic designer, has taken time off since the crash, and is losing income. “These days I’m not able to go to work. I’m not getting paid for these days.” His wife and child have health insurance, he said.
Their friend Lee Uehara started a fundraiser for the couple. (We called Aldo to verify that he’s the one getting the money and to hear the whole story; he didn’t reach out to actively solicit donations and didn’t ask us to post anything.)
West Side Rag donated some money to the family, and it was very easy (we just sent it straight from paypal, or you can use a credit card). Check out the donation site here.
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