Each year, an annual scholarship award is granted to college and graduate students who have survived car accidents. These individuals have overcome the odds and their injuries. The Auto Accident Survivor Scholarship awards the student $1,000 for school tuition.
We are proud to announce that the 2016 winner of the Auto Accident Survivor Scholarship is Monique Porsandeh. She has been volunteering her time advocating for Walk SF, a group in San Francisco that fights for pedestrian safety and hopes to return to school to become a nutritionist, helping those who have also suffered similar injuries.
The Horrific Accident
The night of her accident, she was at a restaurant with friends; they all met with a group of people. Later in the evening, and she walked to the area of the collision with one other pedestrian. The police report states that as the pair were crossing the street, a speeding vehicle suddenly approached and hit them. The driver fled the scene, making the accident into a hit-and-run.
Ms. Porsandeh has spoken about her life before the accident. She had been working as a Project Director for the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at UC Berkeley. She worked up to six days a week, focusing on the position and aiming to complete graduate school. That same year, 2013, she decided to go out with friends, and that’s when the driver hit her while she was crossing an intersection in San Francisco.
She suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and nerve and soft tissue damage. She was comatose, and it took a month in the ICU at San Francisco General Hospital and California Pacific Medical Center to get her back on her feet. She left after a month to pursue at-home therapy, participating in it for a month before being transferred to an intensive inpatient rehabilitation program for two months. After that, she was transferred to a daily intensive rehab facility for several months, followed by an outpatient care program. For at least four months, she was confined to bed or wheelchairs, progressing to using walkers and canes as she recovered. In total, Ms. Porsandeh spent a year relearning to walk and use her mental faculties. Ms. Porsandeh has the goal of becoming a nutritionist to help those who suffer injuries; she believes that her background in the subject helped her recovery.
We would like to send our congratulations and well wishes for her future endeavors.