She was a pretty girl, a nurse who worked with longterm respiratory patients. Now she is a longterm patient.
On June 7, 2013, an allegedly drunk driver forever changed the life of 2004 Lynchburg-Clay High School graduate Britney Hertlein-Scott. She had a husband attending Yale University, was in New York on her way to Connecticut and was wearing a headset talking to her mother when a pickup truck driver went the wrong way and struck Hertlein’s vehicle head-on.
“They just thought she lost service,” said Tami Woodyard, one a handful of people organizing a Friday, Nov. 13 fundraiser for Hertlein-Scott’s family. “Then they called and couldn’t get her, called and couldn’t get her, then at 7 in the morning there’s a state trooper knocking on their front door.”
The truck driver was killed.
Hertlein-Scott was in a coma for months and now requires 24-hour, round-the-clock care that’s provided by her parents, Al and Debbie Hertlein. She cannot move or communicate.
“Her mom sets the clock and rotates her every a three hours. She doesn’t get any sleep, but Britney has never had a bed sore,” said Woodyard. “It’s just sad. It breaks my heart.”
The fundraiser, scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Lynchburg Fire Department, will include a spaghetti dinner, private auction, split-the-pot drawing, and a raffle.
Items being auctioned and raffled off include: Bengals tickets (front row seats in end zone); seven-day vacation to St. Pete Beach, Fla.; $500 gift certificate from Best One Tires; fire pit for patio; two picnic tables; patio set with six chairs; surround sound system; pool table; electric guitar and amplifier; Ohio State blanket; gift cards; wood primitive items; cornhole boards with bags; Avon, Candle-lite and Pampered Chef gift baskets; two Thirty One bags; Vera Bradley purse and wallet; auto store items; bird house/bird feeder; Joe Torre autographed baseball; album with Anthony Munoz signature; large Thirty One bag (filled).
Organizers said those are just a few of the items. The larger items will be sold by silent auction.
Wilkin said that since it’s been more than two years since the accident and Hertlein-Scott hasn’t shown any improvement, the insurance will no longer pay for therapy. She said her mother never leaves her side.
“Her parents rushed to her side, unsure if she would survive. Britney’s strong will helped her defeat the odds,” said Brenda Higgins, who’s also helping with the fundraiser. “However, she strives every day to recover from the traumatic brain injury inflicted upon her. She requires 24-hour care, as well as physical therapy, which is all provided by her parents.
“This is an opportunity where a small community can make a huge difference.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.