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EXCLUSIVE: Injured Pedestrian in Coma, Brother Says

The oldest brother of Mariam Hedayati talks about his sister's horrific accident and extensive injuries.

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. 

Shirley October 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Thanks Debbie, for bring family to this story.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Shirley: It was nice to hear more about who Mariam is.
Kathi October 09, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Yes, I agree, nice to learn more about who she is & also her current condition. Glad she has a Mom & a brother who are there for her, but of course, unless his biz is to the point that it can run itself, he is likely torn between doing that & being w her. She must have been hit really hard for all that damage. Praying for healing. Being without a leg will likely be a challenge but one that can be overcome as have many others, but praying for healing of all the other broken & damaged parts & especially that he brain will function normally. & of course the future of her medical career is on hold now. I can't remember if that exam for foreign medical graduates is a once a year event or not. Had a room mate in the past who was prepping for that & I remember that some of the parts of the process were only done annually. But I guess right now that is the least of their concerns. Praying for her & the family.
Leonard Kinkade October 10, 2012 at 02:13 AM
PART 1 I'm a little confused, if she was in the crosswalk, thus had the right of way, why was this guy released and not booked for a vehicle code violation, (e.g. Reckless Driving with great bodily harm) is a misdemeanor and can be a felony in some cases. Hopefully, they drew blood on this guy to determine if he was under the influence of a drug or alcohol, and that they brought their major traffic accident unit. Another LN citizen struck by a vehicle as they were walking and had the right of way. LN citizens must let their city council know that speeding in our city must be dealt with; we can't afford to have any more of our citizens injured by vehicles!
Leonard Kinkade October 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM
part 2 23103. (a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. 23104. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), whenever reckless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to a person other than the driver, the person driving the vehicle shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) A person convicted of reckless driving that proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, to a person other than the driver, who previously has been convicted of a violation of Section 23103, 23104, 23105, 23109, 23109.1, 23152, or 23153, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment.
Greg M. October 10, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I live in the condo development adjacent to this intersection and heard the sirens after the accident. I went to see if there was anything I could do to assist and was grateful to see there were quite a few citizens that had already jumped into action. As is typical of this type of tragedy where things happen in a split second, I heard first hand of the conflicting details reported by the on scene witnesses. It's not prudent to jump to conclusions of fault but remain hopeful the authorites get to the bottom of this and action is taken once fault has been determined. Regardless of the outcome of this incident, speed enforcement is greatly needed in this area. I understand government funding is stretched and there are "higher" priorities, but incidents like this will continue to happen along Moulton Parkway unless and until some regular speed enforcement is put into place. I, like everyone else impacted by this tragedy, will look forward to updates with regard to the outcome of the authorities' investigation as well as to the condition of Mariam. Our prayers go out to her and her family first and foremost.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) October 10, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Leonard: As always, you are well versed thanks for this information.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) October 10, 2012 at 07:48 PM
@Greg: There are a number of bad streets here in LN like any community,and something should be done as many readers and citizens have commented.
Ashley K. October 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I have continued to search online for her condition. I was only a driver in Moulton that day, and though I was frustrated at the detours and traffic, it wasn't until I'd realized what had happened that I took a huge step back and felt the traffic hold up was absolutely no comparison to what anyone in this situation was going through. There were two policemen walking a man over to the scene when I just broke down into tears. I didn't know if she was alive or not, but I am SO thankful to all of the citizens who had stopped to help. You all are such blessings. I continue to pray for her healing.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) October 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Ashley: Glad you were able to find the update here, her brother has given insight into his sister as well as an update.

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