A woman who was hit by a car while on a morning walk in the Rutland area of Kelowna returned home this week after a 17-day hospital stay and she has months of recovery ahead of her.

“She had a burst vertebrae that had to be removed and other vertebrae fused together,” her mom Vanessa Fowler told iNFOnews.ca.

Layna Fowler, 24, was walking on MacIntosh Road at 6:45 a.m. on April 28 when a car came out of the alleyway, hit her and drove off. The family has been actively looking for witnesses ever since but haven’t found any information or surveillance video.

“All she remembers is a white SUV coming out of the alley and turning right,” Vanessa said. “We guess they didn’t look both ways. I’ve shared to social media groups in Kelowna and Rutland and banged on the doors of homes and businesses in the area.”

Layna, who has a six-year-old daughter, is starting to walk using a walker. She’ll have to wear a back brace for at least three months and she faces months of rehabilitation. She’s unable to work or drive. Vanessa said her daughter is “torn up” mentally too.

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Prior to the incident, the young mother had started a job as a nail technician and doesn't qualify for WorkSafeBC coverage for wage losses. She hasn’t accrued enough work hours to be eligible for employment insurance.

“We have a very supportive family helping and we’re all working together to help her,” Vanessa said.

Kelowna resident Layna Fowler with her daughter.
Kelowna resident Layna Fowler with her daughter.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Vanessa Fowler

While a file was opened with RCMP, Vanessa said the family is doing a lot of the legwork themselves, trying to get the message out in hopes of locating the driver. Vanessa is asking anyone with information to contact her here or phone Kelowna RCMP.

The family started a an online fundraiser a few days ago to help with basic living costs. 

Kelowna RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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