‘Hard for us to see him in pain and not be able to hold him’: Lexington family using son’s survival as lesson to others

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — A Lexington man could spend more than a week in the hospital undergoing several surgeries after being hit on his motorcycle and left on the side of the road.

Elijah “Eli” Freeman was driving south on N.C. 8 in Lexington Saturday around 9 p.m.

Lisa Swicegood Fisher

Lexington authorities said Lisa Swicegood Fisher, 56, pulled out in front of him.

Eli’s motorcycle was smashed on the side, causing him to be thrown for his bike.

His left leg was broken, his teeth were cracked and he was bleeding badly.

Police said Fisher was driving impaired, with an open container, and in possession of drugs. Authorities said she left the scene and was found a short time later.

Fisher is employed as a teacher with Lexington City Schools.

“She did not care, as she left our son,” said Eli’s mother, April Freeman.

She was called by a good Samaritan who stopped to help Eli as he laid on the side of the road.

She and Eli’s father, stepfather and stepmother have only been able to see their son for a few minutes at a time through the use of FaceTime.

Due to COVID-19, doctors have prohibited them from being allowed to come into the ICU where he is currently being treated.

“It’s hard when a mother cannot touch her child,” said Vanessa Stanford, Elijah’s stepmother. “We know he’s scared, we know he’s hurting. We want him to know we are here with him. … I just want to grab him and hug him, and kiss him.”

“He has pins and rods in his knee to hold it in place. They couldn’t repair the artery in his right leg so they had to go into his left leg and take an artery to put in the right. … They finally got a pulse in his foot,” April said.

Eli’s family tells FOX8 doctors said it’s a miracle he survived the crash. Pictures show that his bike was split into multiple pieces.

“They told us we would not know the outcome, because of everything he’s about to have to overcome,” April said. “She has altered our son’s life and he will never be the same after this. If we could help stop one family from ever having to go through this, then that’s what we want to do.”

As Eli begins his long journey to recover, his family is hoping to share his journey with others.

They also hope to keep his motorcycle in the condition it’s in now and use it as a tool to warn against the dangers of driving with impaired.

They will be sharing part of his story on pages belonging to his car group 336AFR.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family.

When asked about Fisher’s employment status, the superintendent of Lexington City Schools said since the crash happened, they have not been able to meet and discuss their next steps. It is something they will be doing soon.

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