Julia Romero to be released from rehabilitation: Family needs support

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Idyllwild resident Julia Romero, 17, was severely injured in a head-on, hit-and-run automobile crash on Friday, March 31. The other driver also was arrested for DUI. Prior to the crash Julia was an honors student at Hemet High School and a star runner on the girls track team.

Julia is finishing rehabilitation at Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Loma Linda and will be discharged in another week or so, according to her mother Elizabeth Romero. And Julia has a fixed goal. “She is eager to go back to school,” her mother noted. “Her AP testing begins on May 2 and she has four. She’s worked so hard for this all semester long. She is determined to take these tests.”

But there are barriers. Julia is in a wheelchair and can’t put weight on her injured legs. The Romero home will need ramps built so Julia can get into the house. She will also need other medical equipment to assist her in taking care of her basic needs.

And because Julia will continue to need outpatient physical therapy, Elizabeth is trying to secure a rental car that can comfortably accommodate Julia to and from medical appointments. Also, during the last month, Elizabeth has been at Julia’s bedside and unable to work, therefore missing the income from that period.

Despite her injuries and operations, Julia is upbeat, according to her mother. “Julia is now in better spirits,” said Elizabeth. “She is smiling and laughing again. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”

Because Elizabeth has been out of work for the last month, money is needed for everyday necessities of rent, utilities and restocking the house with food after a month lived in hospitals.

The online Go Fund Me campaign is still open. Only $5,535 has been raised out of the $15,000 goal. The campaign’s goal was recently raised to help fund Julia’s in-patient physical therapy, transition from hospital to home, as well as continued out-patient therapy and crash-related medical care.

Before the car crash, Julia had hoped to parlay her honors student record, AP scores and track achievements into a college scholarship.

The family is hoping continued community support will help Julia achieve her goals in spite of her injuries and trauma.

The GoFundMe link is www.gofundme.com/getting-julia-back-on-track/.

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