Raleigh hit-and-run victim recovering after losing leg
Posted November 14, 2013
Updated December 23, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A computer graphics artist with big plans for the future, Ana Kessel, 20, moved to Raleigh from Miami a few months ago for a full-time internship with video game developer Insomniac Games.
Those plans, however, were put on hold Monday afternoon when she became the victim of a hit-and-run in southeast Raleigh.
"I don't remember anything about being hit," she said Thursday from her hospital bed at WakeMed. "I just remember being half awake and the nurse telling me I lost my leg."
Kessel had just left her boyfriend's house and was running errands when she tried to turn left from Rocky Quarry Road onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard around 2:45 p.m.
That's when, Raleigh police say, a sedan driven by Michael Deontea Jones, 23, collided with her moped in the intersection. Police said Jones took off and was later arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run and driving without a valid license.
The wreck has left Kessel in disbelief.
"I still have what they have called phantom limbs," she said. "I still look down and think I'm going to see my legs. I feel like I can move my toes, but they're not there."
Kessel, who doesn't have health insurance, says she's now in need of a prosthetic leg – something that she expects will cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
The community is already rallying around her, raising money online. By Thursday evening, people had donated more than $30,000 to help her cover her medical bills and expenses.
"It's really heart-warming, and I'm really grateful for it," Kessel said.
She sees the wreck not as a hindrance to her future, but an obstacle she'll get through.
"I'm not too afraid of the future," she said. "Life is definitely going to be different, but I don’t think there will be anything that I won't be able to do that I'm not already doing."