Mariam Hedayati is the youngest of seven siblings and, until last week, was studying for medical examinations to become a doctor. However, since Oct. 1, she has been in a medically induced coma, after a car struck her in the crosswalk at Moulton Parkway and Aliso Niguel roads.
Police say a Honda Civic driven by a 45-year-old man hit her shortly before 3 p.m. He was released pending an investigation, according to Jim Amormino, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesperson.
As for the Hedayati family, their world has been turned upside down.
“She has been in the hospital since the accident happened,” said Mohammad, who resides in Irvine and is a contractor. “She has had at least one surgery every day. She lost her leg below the knee, has broken fingers, ribs, bones and hips, and is being kept in a coma because doctors say she will be in a lot of pain if she wakes up.”
Mohammad said he was not contacted by authorities until the next morning about his sister's accident.
“I have visited her every day since,” he said. “It is terrible what has happened to her. The doctors do not know if she will make it. They had to cut a hole in her throat to put in a tube … Her leg is destroyed; it was torn up behind the knee and they were not able to save the leg that was retrieved at the scene.”
He said she had been studying for months to take her medical exams after dreaming of becoming a doctor for years.
“She wants to go into internal medicine,” he said. “She went to medical school in Mexico and has always wanted to help people.”
Mariam is single and lives in Laguna Niguel in a condo with their mother near the crash site. She has lived in the United States sine she was 12, Mohammad said.
She was simply out for a walk, he said, something she enjoys doing daily for some fresh air and to break from studying.
“We are all praying for her,” he said. “We are devastated ... and we want answers."
He said no fund has been established for his sister to date, but he is thankful and grateful to all those who were on hand to help her.