Emily Bowman returns to renovated home Thursday - CBS46 News

Emily Bowman returns to renovated home Thursday

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WOODSTOCK, GA (CBS46) -

At long last Emily Bowman is back at home and her mother Debbie said her daughter is happy.

"I said 'if you are ready to go home could you just blink your eyes and tell me?' She kind of shut her eyes and opened them back up and I was like, 'was that a fluke or not?' So I did it again and she did it again," said Debbie Bowman.

Emily Bowman was critically injured in February after police said a drunk driver ran her over in Athens, GA. She is unable to speak and is confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident. 

William Heaton, 22, was arrested and faces 13 criminal charges connected to the case including driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. 

Emily Bowman has been in the hospital since the February accident.

At one point, Bowman's family said they were concerned they may have to find someplace else for her to live. The family's Cherokee County two-story home, could not accommodate the wheelchair-bound college student.

"We wanted to be here in Woodstock, but I just never had a dream that all this would happen. I was looking at handicap-accessible places," said Debbie Bowman.

Thanks to Sunshine on a Ranney Day, a nonprofit organization that helps children with long-term illnesses, Emily Bowman will have a chance to recover in a familiar place.

"We pulled up all the carpets, we gave them wood floors so it's easier for the wheelchair. We changed one room from a den to a room for Debbie to sleep in. She wanted to be down here with Emily," said Holly Ranney, who founded Sunshine on a Ranney Day.

"You go into Emily's room, which was a dining room, and it is so completely different but it is beautiful," said Suzie Nullins, Emily Bowman's aunt.

"It is just hard because I am just so appreciative of everything that has been done for us," said Debbie Bowman.

Emily Bowman has a long hard road to recovery, but her family and friends said having her at home will make all the difference in the world.

"Hopefully she will progress a little better in familiar surroundings. I know it is baby steps but it is hard," said Nullins.

The renovations to the house include:

  • Building a wheelchair-accessible ramp to the front of the home with surrounding landscaping by B. Green Landscape Group.
  • Installing an ADA-accessible shower on the ground floor with plumbing assistance provided by Mr. Plumber.
  • Converting a dining room and a den into accessible and adjoining bedrooms for Emily and her mom with a donated hospital bed, which was moved into the home by College Hunks Moving Junk, and additional furniture donated by Woodstock Furniture Outlet.
  • Replacing carpet with laminate flooring on the main floor and damaged carpet on the stairs.

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