WOODSTOCK — Tears streamed down Debbie Bowman’s face Thursday afternoon as she saw her daughter enter her home on Rising Drive in Woodstock for the first time since being the victim of a hit-and-run accident with a drunk driving suspect in February.
Emily Bowman’s return home comes after the 20-year-old spent more than four months in hospitals in Athens and Atlanta recovering from severe brain injuries she sustained in the accident Feb. 19, when she was struck by the truck of a man who police say fled from the scene.
Since the accident, Emily has been through multiple surgeries but still must use a wheelchair and, Debbie said, cannot speak.
But despite her daughter’s condition, Debbie Bowman said Thursday that she was relieved to finally see her come home.
“I’ve got so much emotion right now. I’m happy, I’m nervous, I’m sad,” Debbie Bowman said. But “four months in the hospital is long enough.”
In addition to it being Emily’s first time in her house since the accident, Thursday’s tearful homecoming was also the first time Debbie and her ex-husband, Dale Bowman, have seen the final product of vast renovations made to the home to accommodate Emily’s wheelchair.
Sunshine on a Ranney Day, a Roswell-based nonprofit, completed work late Wednesday night on the Bowman house after working there for several weeks. Among the renovations to the home include a wheelchair ramp at the front door, a new bathroom with walk-in shower and two new bedrooms on the first floor.
One of the bedrooms, which has been furnished with a donated hospital bed, will be for Emily and the other for Debbie, who is moving in to help take care of her daughter.
Debbie Bowman profusely thanked the volunteers who have worked on the home Thursday afternoon.
“I just can’t even believe all the support that’s out there for us,” Debbie said with tears pouring from her eyes.
Dale Bowman also said he was thankful.
“It’s awesome,” he said of the people who pitched in to help his family. Bowman said he was particularly appreciative of Holly Ranney, founder of Sunshine on a Ranney Day.
Ranney stood almost out of sight near the front door and cried as she watched friends and family members tour the made-over home Thursday afternoon.
As Debbie and her daughter made their way to Emily’s new bedroom and saw the fresh colorful paint on the walls, Dale Bowman approached Ranney and smiled as he stretched his arms out to embrace her.
Ranney said the scene was all she had hoped for.