A 13-YEAR-OLD girl’s jaw has been realigned by doctors who put three metal plates in her face after a cowardly driver hit her and failed to stop as she walked to catch the school bus.
Mei Jones shrieked when a vehicle clipped her face near her home on the A32 at Warnford Road, Corhampton, at about 7.45am on October 8.
The Swanmore College pupil suffered nerve damage and breaks in her jaw and cheek bones in the collision, seen by her 12-year-old brother.
She was rushed to A&E with a black eye and a bloody nose before her face ballooned with swelling prior to her operation.
Mei’s mother, Kate Jones, said she underwent the maxillofacial surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham last Wednesday.
With her now recovering, the 46-year-old said fears for her daughter have now evolved into fury at the hit-and-run driver who injured her.
‘It’s the type of thing where you wish it was you and not your child – I can’t bear to see her in pain,’ said Kate, a bank nurse at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.
‘It's incredibly sad that a driver would not think to stop in that situation.
‘You know if you hit a bird in the car so you would definitely know if you hit a child, especially looking at the injuries to her face and jaw.’
Doctors say it could take more than a year to know whether the nerve damage Mei suffered beneath her right eye has been repaired.
And while thoughts of the collision have left the Year 9 pupil crying in bed every night, Kate praised her for being brave and returning to school.
‘I’m extremely proud of her because she has been determined not to let this interrupt her studies,’ said Kate.
‘She did a half-day on Tuesday and came home today after a full day and didn't even want any pain relief.
‘It’s amazing because an adult couldn’t have coped with this – they would’ve had ages off work.’
The youngster’s family have been inundated with well wishes and food packages and ‘haven’t had to cook for 10 days’ since the collision.
One of Kate’s pals, fellow nurse Karen Penfold, has launched an online fundraiser to recoup her colleague’s lost wages while she is off work caring for Mei.
The 55-year-old from Alresford said: ‘I know they are having to worry about money so that’s why I started this.
‘We're going to put some posters around the hospital too, to see if people might want to help instead of spending the same amount on a coffee.’
Kate has urged people to come forward with dashcam footage of the A32, through Corhampton, between 7.40am and 7.50am on October 8.
Hampshire police confirmed enquiries into the collision are ongoing and anyone with information should call 101, quoting 44190359241.
To donate to the online fundraiser for the family, go to gofundme.com/f/mei-and-her-family-hit-and-run-victim.