FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) - It's been six months since Heather Gonzalez was hit by a car in Franklin County, forcing her to deliver her baby almost two months early. Despite her long recovery, Gonzalez says she feels blessed.
On Feb. 9, Gonzalez was walking along the side of U.S. 401 in Franklin County, heading toward Kearney Grocery when a car hit her from behind.
The force of the impact broke her water, and a few hours later Cameron was born. The baby boy spent 20 days in the NICU with lung issues before Gonzalez was able to bring him home.
"Wow. That was a fun day. It was almost too good to be true, kind of like a dream almost. You don't really believe what you just went through happened," she said.
Gonzalez said that, after the crash, she spent more than two months in and out of the hospital. Her foot was broken in several places. She says she'll eventually needs plates and screws put in, but is slowly starting to walk again.
"I have to push a stroller, so that becomes a walker because you can't really manage a baby and a walker at the same time," Gonzalez said.
The driver who hit Gonzalez hasn't been caught. She says the driver stopped for a moment, and then took off. Gonzalez believes they were in a black 2002-2005 Cadillac, adding the side view mirror came off when she was hit.
"It doesn't change who I am. I'm strong. I love to help people. There's all different kinds of people in the world. Fortunately, my mom raised me to be the right way," she said. "That's kind of what's important because this one (Cameron) is going to be raised with good morals too."
Gonzalez plans to one day share with Cameron the story of how he came into the world to teach him the importance of compassion and helping others.
She says it took 30 minutes before someone finally stopped to help her that night, and only after she grabbed a handful of rocks and threw it at a passing car.
"I think when he's older and understands, he's gonna realize how blessed he is too," Gonzalez said.
Despite all she and her baby have been through in the past six months, Gonzalez is grateful and hopeful for Cameron's future.
"Just to be happy. Happy and healthy. I think that's what any parents wants for their kids. I've been blessed with such a great support network," Gonzalez said. "We're lucky, very lucky. and he's so cute."