A woman who lost part of her leg in a hit-and-run crash last month in Wolfville is asking the driver to come forward to help her heal.
Tasha Hope-Simpson, 23, was leaving a pub in the town on the night of Nov. 2. She walked to her car.
"I remember seeing a bright light to my right as I walked by one car. It turned its lights on and began to rev its engines. Pretty soon it drove into me and then pinned me against another car," she told CBC News on Monday.
'It would be stupid to let this be the end of my goals.' - Tasha Hope-Simpson
Her left leg was crushed between the two cars and the driver fled. Hope-Simpson doesn't remember much about the car that struck her.
"I was just confused as to what was happening," she said.
Passing students from nearby Acadia University heard the crash and came to her rescue, holding her in place to avoid further damage until help arrived.
Despite eight surgeries and a month-long stay in hospital, Hope-Simpson had a tough decision to make. Doctors said she could try to save the leg but it would take years and many surgeries — and she'd never walk properly again. Or, she could amputate the leg below her knee and be walking in a couple of months.
"I decided to go with the amputation because I value functionality a lot. I want to be able to move, to walk, to travel," she said. "It was a relief to have it off because it was so mangled."
She came home from the hospital on Thursday and the recent NSCAD arts graduate is re-learning life.
"I've been looking at pictures of women with prosthetic legs — really artistic, beautiful legs — and getting excited about what sort of legs I can get in the future," she said.
Tips about the incident can be directed to the RCMP in New Minas (902-679-5555) or Crimestopppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
"I'm feeling an incredible, overwhelming feeling of love from the community. I've never had the opportunity to experience so much love."
The province will cover a basic prosthetic limb, but specialty ones for hiking and other activities will be expensive. Her sister and brother started a website that has raised $22,000 and a friend organized a fundraiser that brought in $13,000. That will help her in her recovery, but one major piece is missing: she's asking the driver to come forward.
Asks driver to turn themselves in
"There's a big part of me that's forgiven them," she said, but anger lingers. "Holding on to angry feelings prevents you from moving on and I need to move on."
"It's going to hard for them to confess, but I think it would be very brave of them and it would help a lot of people get over this situation," she added. "It would be easier to be honest with themselves than to hold something like this in."
Const. Blair MacMurtery of the Kings District RCMP said they are actively looking for the driver.
"We'll take any tip we can get that will lead us to the driver," he said.
Meanwhile, Hope-Simpson is continuing her interrupted life.
"I know this isn't going to stop me from doing anything I want to do," she said. "It would be stupid to let this be the end of my goals."