Meghann Eff, 28, was hit as she tried to hail a cab early Sunday morning. The hit-and-run took place near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pearson.
Eff's family was planning on spending the holidays four hours away in Blissfield, Michigan, where they live. Instead, they are camping out at Northwestern Hospital, where she is recovering from being struck by a car. They are grateful that she is still alive and grateful to the woman who first came to her aid and called 911.
It is a hug Lester Eff has been hoping to be able to give all week - a hug of gratitude to Jenny Hsieh for possibly saving their daughter's life after a hit-and-run driver struck Meghann in the early morning hours Sunday on Michigan Avenue. Hsieh was in a cab coming up to the scene moments later.
"We looked up and we saw that she had gone down," said Hsieh. "Of course, being a healthcare provider, my first reaction was to make sure she was OK."
Eff's family came from Michigan as soon as they heard of her injury, and they have been looking for Hsieh to thank her ever since learning the details.
"She could have been hit a second time, so that young lady that stayed with her was certainly a lifesaver - she may not take credit for it being that way, but It's exactly how it was," said Lester Eff.
Hsieh, who works at Northwestern Hospital as a respiratory therapist, is used to dealing with critical care patients. She found Meghann unconscious but breathing and with a light pulse. She knew what to do to keep her stable until paramedics arrived.
"I guess it was fate or coincidence that I happened to be there - the first one to respond," said Hsieh.
Police say numerous other drivers ignored the situation driving by without stopping. Police have only a general description of the vehicle that hit Meghann. They say it was a silver or gray sedan that was headed northbound on Michigan Avenue at Pearson. After hitting her, the driver turned east on Chestnut.
"It's hard to imagine that people live that way - that they could injure another individual and have little or no concern for their well-being - this is turning out pretty good, but this could have been a homicide," said Lester Eff.
Meghan Eff suffered two broken legs, a broken arm, and a fractured skull, but doctors tell the family she suffered no brain damage and they expect her to make a full recovery. Police have been reviewing surveillance video from the intersection. The family is now hoping any witnesses will come forward to help police find the driver.