Published online at Edmonton.Ctvnews.ca on July 8, 2012.
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: July 8, 2012
Woman hit while jogging in northeast Edmonton talks about her recovery
The woman who suffered life-threatening injuries after she was hit by two vehicles while out jogging in May is speaking out for the first time.
Clarice Anderson was hit less than six weeks ago while crossing the street in the northeast Edmonton neighbourhood of Brintnell.
She still has a long road of recovery ahead of her but at a fundraiser held in her name Sunday, Anderson spoke exclusively to CTV News about how she’s been doing since the incident that originally raised fears on whether or not the young mother and wife would survive.
“I remember getting hit by the first vehicle and then I got hit two more times after that,” Anderson said.
On May 30, Anderson was out jogging when she was caught in wreckage involving two cars.
Her ribs, back, jaw and wrist were broken and her lungs collapsed.
Doctors expected her to remain in hospital until September, but remarkably, Anderson is already walking and back home with her family.
“I was comforted knowing so many people are praying for me, that it gave me positive thinking, that okay, I can get better, I’m going to run again, I’m going to do the things that I did before,” Anderson said.
“I told my husband that I will be out of the hospital by my birthday in mid-July, I will be back at home, I will be good to go.”
Anderson’s story is now well-known. Her husband Aaron Paquette triggered an outpouring of support when he turned to Facebook to post an emotional plea for driver safety after his wife was hit.
He says his message has now been seen by more than 40 million people worldwide.
“People around the world have been sending prayers, sending well-wishes and sending promises to drive responsibly,” Paquette said.
“Out of the ashes of a tragedy, has come something that’s been a blessing to our lives.”
Sunday’s fundraiser held at the Alberta Avenue Community League had two purposes – to raise money to help offset the family’s expenses and to raise money and awareness towards safer driving practices.
“Today is an event that our friends put together and surprised us with. It’s a fundraiser but it’s also mainly to raise awareness. The idea is that everyone who comes through the door is basically making a pledge that they will be a responsible driver,” Paquette said.
“Most of the money will be going towards the foundation and what we’re going to be doing is raising awareness for responsible driving.”
“We want people to get home safely to their families whether they’re in a vehicle or they’re a pedestrian,” Anderson said.
“The way that’s going to happen is if you’re focused and you’re not texting, you’re not distracted by talking, the radio, that’s our main message. We would never want another family to experience the effects of a horrible accident.”
Anderson said she likely won’t be ready to return to her job as an elementary school teacher this fall, but that’s okay with at least one student, who is wishing her a speedy recovery.
“I’m very excited that she’s okay,” said Ritchie Gosselin.
Donations can be made online to the Clarice Anderson Healing Fund.
With files from Jessica Earle