CUMMING, Ga. — April Vernon is known as a regular around Cumming for her routine long strolls around the city. Three weeks ago, Vernon's regular walk turned critical after she was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Bald Ridge Road and Lanier Parkway. 

The 65-year-old resident was taken to a hospital in critical condition on August 15th. The driver was cited for “failure to exercise due care,” according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and April was diagnosed with a head injury.

April's sister, Laura Nybom was notified of the news while out of town working as a flight attendant. Nybom says she has been overwhelmed by the accident, but even more overwhelmed by the community's support, "the outreach from Cumming was just so unexpected and we're so grateful."

Vernon is now in stable condition and celebrated her 66th birthday this week surrounded by family, friends, and the first responders who arrived on scene the day of her accident. April says that her birthday wish this year is just to get better, "my main goal is to get off of the injury list."

Cumming Police Sargent Benjamin Haack who attended April's birthday party says April is well known and loved in Cumming. "When we heard the area where someone had been hit, we instantly thought it might be April. Once we realized it was, one of our officers started crying," says Haack.

April Vernon
Laura Nybom

Nybom says April has always loved her independence, but their family knew there'd come a time when should couldn't be unsupervised any longer. "Our family is just glad she has been able to be independent for as long as she has in her adult life." 

April is now living in a temporary assisted living facility thanks to donations from Cumming residents through a community-funded GoFundMe campaign. Nybom says that residents reached out to their family through social media and have raised over $4,000 for April's care.

April Vernon
Laura Nybom

Janna Vernon, April's cousin says finding a place for April to live in the long term has been a complicated process. "April is younger than most of the residents in the nursing home environment, but the other highly rated facilities for someone like her have a multi-year waitlist."

Nybom says they're just taking everything day by day and are grateful for all of the help they received so far "we're just trying to take a breath right now and celebrate that April can have another birthday this year."

You can find out how you can help April and her family here.

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