The family of a woman left in critical condition after a football-sized rock smashed through her windshield is reaching out for help.
Sharon Budd, a 52-year-old mother of four, has been in critical condition for almost two weeks now after teenagers threw a large rock off of a highway overpass that smashed her skull. She was in the car with her husband and daughter at the time of the injury.
When the rock struck, it was immediately clear Budd was in critical condition. Doctors braced her family for the worst as they told them emergency surgeries would need to be performed immediately.
“We had to make sure that she was going to survive, that was our immediate goal for the first 72 hours,” said Dr. Atom Sarkar, a neurosurgeon at Geisenger Medical Center.
Sharon’s husband, Randy Budd, recalls the conversation he had with doctors before the surgeries: “Two gentlemen came up and said, ‘We're going to do an emergency surgery, give her a chance to live.’ I just signed. Some eye doctors came in and basically said the same thing. I signed.”
Almost 10 surgeries later, it looks like Budd will pull through. But due to brain damage caused by the incident, doctors and family members don’t know how her cognitive functioning and personality might differ from before.
“We can say she's not going to die,” Sarkar said, “but there's a very far gulf between not dying and being the person you were.”
To help pay for Budd’s expensive medical procedures, the family has set up YouCaring and GoFundMe pages. The GoFundMe page has raised $19,000 of the $25,000 goal, and the YouCaring campaign has raised $26,000 of its $50,000 goal.
As for the teens who tossed the rock, police have apprehended them and charged them with aggravated assault and conspiracy. Three of the teens will be charged as adults, and one as a juvenile.