“We’re in for the long haul,” Neal Bowman said Thursday afternoon.
The teen, Emily Bowman, was hit by a truck just after 3 a.m. Sunday while walking on the side of Oak Street in Athens.
Athens police have identified a 22-year-old suspect, but public information assistant Hilda Sorrow said no arrest had been made as of Thursday afternoon.
Bowman said his niece, who attended Kennesaw State University her freshman year, is still unresponsive, but the swelling in her face has gone down.
“Her face looks like Emily again,” Bowman said.
Bowman, who lives in Rex, said everyone in his family is breathing a little more easily after Tuesday, when a brain scan revealed Emily’s brain was no longer in a “deteriorating” condition but remained unchanged.
“She’s still in a coma, but all vital signs are stable,” Bowman said. “She’s just there sleeping.”
Bowman said he and his brother, Dale Bowman, aren’t proficient in social media but they are glad there has been such an outpouring of support on Facebook and from those who have visited the family in the hospital.
The “Bows for Bowman” Facebook page, set up by friends to provide updates on Emily’s condition, had almost 5,600 likes as of Thursday afternoon.
Organizers are selling bracelets for $4 and T-shirts for $20 with proceeds going toward Bowman’s medical expenses.
Organizers also announced Thursday they will be hosting a fundraiser March 7, at Buffalo’s Southwest Café on
Highway 92 in Woodstock with 10 percent of food sales all day going to help pay Bowman’s medical expenses.
The shirts and bracelets will also be sold at the event as well as several raffle prizes. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange in honor of Emily.
Bethany Bradford, a 20-year-old high school friend who ran track with Emily, helped organize the event. So far, she’s been contacted by several people wanting to help.
Bradford said she has faith her friend will make it through the ordeal.
“Emily’s always just been really strong and a fighter,” Bradford said. “I think she has so much support that it’ll be a long recovery, but she’ll be able to make it.”
Additionally, a fund has been set up to help pay for Bowman’s medical bills at Wells Fargo Bank. The name of the account is Emily Taylor Bowman’s Medical Bills Fund.