Fundraiser to support injured woman is Friday, Oct. 14 at Wonder Ballroom
Stevie Rae Urwin will attend a concert that will raise money to help pay expenses required of her continued recuperation, but she might not be able to stay for the entire event.
When the four-band rock concert ends at midnight, Urwin will be 20 years old - certainly a nice birthday gift for someone nearly killed by an unlicensed teenage driver last May.
Urwin has been struggling to recover from injuries she suffered when hit by a pickup while crossing Highway 211 near Bornstedt Road.
Witnesses have told Oregon State Police investigators the pickup 'came out of nowhere' and hit the girl while she was walking a friend's dog.
Urwin has no memory of the incident. She was in a coma for 10 days, clinging to life by a thread, and in the hospital for nearly a month.
Oregon State Police recently wrapped up an investigation of the incident, and Trooper Scott McLeod said he cited the boy driving the pickup for operating the vehicle without a license. He also cited the boy's mother, who was following the pickup in another vehicle at the time of the crash, for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate her vehicle.
Asked why there were no criminal charges against the boy or his mother, McLeod said, 'There was no evidence of anything criminal. He was just driving along, there was someone in the road and he locked (the brakes) and couldn't avoid (the crash). He wasn't driving recklessly or at a high speed or doing anything that would constitute a crime.'
Urwin's recovery has been very slow, and her mother, Tammy Urwin, says it also has taken a toll emotionally.
Her critical brain injury now shows up as a problem with memory and balance, and her severe foot injury is still not healed.
Her mother says her daughter walks with a cane, cannot stand for more than a few minutes or walk more than 30 feet without rest, and she cannot push herself in a wheelchair.
The young Urwin says it's difficult to accept her limitations.
'This is driving me crazy,' she said, 'because too many times I will be stuck at the house (alone), and on Fridays I have to get up early (to go to physical therapy).'
Her doctors have not stated she is yet in stable condition; therefore, Tammy Urwin said no insurance company is willing to offer any settlement or pay any bills, which now are more than $350,000.
Both of her parents are disabled and unable to work, and because Urwin is more than 18 years old she is responsible for her bills.
Life is not easy for the young woman whose life and ambitions were changed in an instant last May. Living in Brightwood makes it difficult to get transportation. Her mother won't let her try public transportation because she gets dizzy and winded if she walks more than 30 feet. Transportation, therefore, must come from either mom or dad.
Her mother said the doctors told her that her daughter needs supervision around the clock until she stabilizes. That's why she is sleeping with her mother, so she can be awakened if the younger Urwin needs to get up during the night.
Because of her living conditions in a small home (two bedrooms for four people) Urwin also feels isolated and depressed because there is little to do in rural Brightwood for someone who can't walk far.
'She's disgruntled because she can't keep up with her friends,' her mother said. 'Her friends are able to walk through town and do whatever they want. She's not strong enough to push herself with a wheelchair, so she uses her cane, but she can only walk short distances before getting tired or dizzy.'
Proceeds of the Oct. 14 fundraising concert will replace income she might have earned if she did not have the injury.
Those proceeds are to be used for the younger Urwin's living expenses - things that will make her life a bit easier such as a bed of her own, instead of sleeping on a couch, and some clothing. She may also have to pay some of the costs of her physical therapy.
Urwin is in alternative school, and is able to work at home on the two credits she needs to earn her high school diploma - two credits she wasn't able to earn last year because of the injury.
Urwin's earlier goal of attending an art school in California apparently is on hold for now, even though she continues expressing herself with artistic images. She hopes to go on tour with a band and work at the band's merchandise table.
For more information, visit the website at prayforstevierae.bbnow.org.
If you go
What: Benefit concert
for Stevie Rae Urwin
When: 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, Oct. 14.
Where: Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., Portland
Why: Pay living and medical expenses of injured woman from Brightwood.
Who: Bands performing include She's Not Dead, All Falls Through, One Hour Newport and In Bloom.