Emily Bowman Comes Off Ventilator While Athens Police Burn The Midnight Oil
The Woodstock woman continues to make progress just three weeks after she was struck by a pick-up truck in Athens.
The 19-year-old Woodstock woman who remains in critical condition at Athens Regional Medical Center after being struck by a truck on Feb. 16 in a hit-and-run has reached another milestone in her recovery.
Emily Bowman has been taken completely off a ventilator and is now breathing through a tube placed in her trachea "that provides moist, oxygenated air," her uncle Neal Bowman wrote on the Bows for Bowman Facebook page.
Bowman also wrote his niece occasionally opens her eyes and blinks, but still remains unresponsive to commands. The good news, he added, is Bowman is also moving around on her own and she's had about a dozen friends stop by the hospital and visit with her.
Bowman noted his niece's vital signs have also been all over the place. Saturday morning, Bowman had a temperature of 102 degrees and nurses had placed chilled water blanket on her to help regulate her temperature.
Her pulse also soared to 180 beats per minute, and Bowman said nurses attributed her rapid heart beat to the brain damage his niece suffered.
On Sunday, Bowman wrote that a physical therapist visited and worked with Emily Bowman, but noted his niece "didn't respond much at all" during his visit.
He also said someone from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta will visit on Monday to evaluate Bowman for possible admission.
"It'll be great if we can have her closer to home," he wrote.
Meanwhile, Athens-Clarke County Police continue to comb through evidence in their quest in building a solid case against the 22-year-old Cartersville man detectives believe struck Bowman with a red Mazda pick-up truck during the early morning hours on Feb. 16 while she walked along Oak Street.
Bowman, a former Kennesaw State University Student and Woodstock High School graduate, was in Athens to celebrate the birthday of a friend.
Police, who have spent countless hours on the case, have had to deal with possible evidence tampering and some witnesses previously not cooperating with the investigation, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
However, Lt. Don Eckert with Athens-Clarke County Police stopped short at providing the newspaper details on the tampering.
The suspect, identified by the newspaper as 22-year-old William Wilson Heaton, allegedly fled the scene and the truck was found abandoned not far from the scene.
The suspect's attorney declined to tell the newspaper whether Heaton was behind the wheel of the truck during the time of the incident.
While the suspect has not been arrested, Athens-Clarke County Police have found evidence that could suggest the suspect most likely was drunk at the time of the incident.