MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Marissa's father is thankful to the community, which came together to raise money for his daughter after being hit by a car on her way home from school.
On October 25th, Marissa Reed was walking home from school. The 14 year old was struck by a car that was driven by an 18 year old.
"A couple of lives were changed in an instant," says Scott Baird, who witnessed the accident.
Marissa is currently paralyzed from the waist down, but her dad says that every day that she is alive is a good day. She is off of feeding tubes and the ventilator. She is finally able to communicate with her family and is working on her fine motor skills.
"I have an image of sneakers 50 yards apart," Baird adds. Baird called 911, blocking Marissa with his car so she wouldn't' be hit again.
Now, he says he has a new image of Marissa to remember.
"I have a picture of her in her wheelchair, with a smile on her face. It's a lot better to look at than to remember the images I have of that day," say Baird.
The Reed family credits Scott Baird for saving their daughter.
"We were strangers before that day. Now, they're my friends. Any friend of theirs is a friend of mine, and they've got me as a friend for life," says Rick Reed, Marissa's father.
Baird says he doesn't deserve to be called a hero, but simply acted in the moment. His wife, Julie, has been working hard in organizing today's benefit to raise money for the Reed family to help with medical costs.
"I can't be more grateful to Scott and Julie. Julie for all her hard work, Scott for calling 911 and saving Marissa," expresses Mr. Reed.
He says the accident has given him a new perspective on life.
"You worry about this, you worry about bills, you worry about that. But none of that matters. Kiss your kids goodnight, give them a hug. Tell them you love them. Because you don't know when that moment comes that you won't be able to. Thanks to Scott, I get to," says Mr. Reed.
Marissa is still at MUSC receiving care, but her dad was at the Wild Horse Saloon today to take pictures for her to show her how many people are thinking about her.
"I want her to know I love her and want her to get better," says Shannon Prather, a friend of Marissa's.
"I really want her to come back, it just feels so empty in my heart, just weird without her," says Savannah Weatherford, another friend of Marissa's. The girls say it hasn't been the same at school without their friend there.
"She's in good spirits and has accepted the fact that she will be in a wheelchair if not for a limited time, for the rest of her life. But she's not going to quit. She's a fighter," says Mr. Reed.
Rick Reed is proud of his daughter, and admires her positivity.
"To have that outlook at 14 is amazing. It just shows what a good heart she has," says Mr. Reed.
He knows his daughter is facing a long road to recovery, but is still holding out hope that she will be able to walk one day. He says the outpour of support from the community is overwhelming and appreciated.
Marissa is expected to move to The Sheppard Center in Atlanta as soon as she's able to fly.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:55 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:55:53 GMT
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