Jennifer’s Story: Utah mom recovering after being hit by car

Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-30 01:43:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah mother of four has been fighting for months to get her life back after being hit by a car last August.

Nathan and Jennifer Strong and their four children were driving up Interstate 80 in Parley's Canyon last August when Nathan says they hit a construction bump.

"The bump caused one of the bikes to come off the trailer so we tried to pull over as soon as we could. I couldn't get out of the car because of the construction," Nathan said.

So Jennifer got out to retrieve her son's bike on the highway, and she was hit, breaking both arms, her lower leg, pelvis and suffering multiple skull fractures. She was flown to the University of Utah Medical Center.

Nathan says there weren't many improvements in Jennifer's health until November when doctors put in a shunt. Jennifer is out of the hospital, but there's still a long way to go.

Jennifer has a brain injury and is dependent on people for the most simple tasks, so she's been in a nursing home while Nathan goes to work.

Her four children - Daniel, 8, Tyler, 6, Johnathon, 4, and Olivia - miss having their mom around, but they're all trying to get adjust.

"We try to get by day to day. It's exhausting. I try to do what I can so kids can just continue their life like they did before. They're on a baseball team, go to school and play with their friends. For the most part they're doing what they did before," Nathan said.

Nathan hopes Jennifer will be able to come home in a few months, but it won't be easy and it will take some time.

"I do work. I have good insurance though my work. My biggest concern when Jen comes home in a few months I use FMLA time to spend with her here at home so that will be a long stretch for not being paid," he said.

And there's no guarantee Jennifer's condition will continue to improve. Nathan says some doctors are surprised she's come this far.

"I'm more optimistic than the doctors but I think she'll recover. I think she'll regain functionality in her hands and feet and walk again and help me raise the kids," he said.

The Strong's neighbor Marie Harris' piano students will perform a fundraiser at the South Towne Mall next Saturday, May 11, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Donations can also be made at