Molly Offstein is going home, but still faces a daunting recovery.
According to Evan Offstein, Molly's father, the Elon University cross country runner is leaving the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore after a car struck her March 6 at Elon while jogging, inflicting her with a traumatic brain injury. She'll return to her Frostburg, Maryland home Aug.15, her father wrote on Facebook.
Her condition has since improved, but her father said there is a "long, long, long road ahead." Though Molly may look "awake" in photos, her consciousness is sporadic at best, he wrote. She relies on a feeding tube and 10 different medications daily, and her command following is still inconsistent, he said.
Once home, her family, nurses and a medical dog named Toby will help Molly with therapy.
"I don't think there's anything that can equip a family to deal with this, but I think it has brought us closer in many ways," Evan told Elon News Network in a phone interview. "There's a big lesson here everyone needs to take out of this — and that is don't take a moment for granted."
The Shepherd Center in Atlanta housed Molly for several weeks before her transfer in May. At the Kennedy Krieger Institute,Molly underwent intensive therapies.
Since the accident, support overflowed from Molly's friends, family and the Elon community. More than 100 people attended a vigil for Molly March 9 at Elon. The track and field team hosted a "Lap for Molly" April 15. And a GoFundMe page raised more than $51,700 to assist with medical expenses. Elon friends even visited her hospital this summer.
The love hasn't gone unnoticed.
"To me, it's remarkable," Evan said. "The Elon community seems pretty strong. Even five months after the accident, they seem engaged. Even though Baltimore is not close to Elon, Elon kids continue to come by and give her their best."
Positive messages and photos of people beginning to run in honor of Offstein flood "The Show Us Your Shoes" Facebook group daily. The group was created to share "support, love, prayer and healing thoughts for Molly Offstein and her family." In his post, Evan said his family is still upbeat and seeing the support from everyone is inspiring.
"Even in this state, Molly seems to continue to make a difference as I get FB messages from people saying that they are running miles, eating better, losing weight, and getting healthy as a result of seeing Molly's lifestyle," he wrote.
"From bad, comes good and this is just one example of that."