A 21-year-old woman continues to fight for her life after her car was hit by a suspected drunken driver last month.
Jessica Neffendorf, 21, is listed in critical condition Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, where she's been in intensive care since the crash nearly two weeks ago.
The Benton County Sheriff's Office said Neffendorf's car was hit during her drive home from Oregon State University in the intersection of Highway 20 and Circle Drive by a driver who ran a red light. Deputies said that driver, Matthew Cannard, was drunk at the time.
"It's the hardest thing in the world," said Shane Potter, Neffendorf's boyfriend, about the crash. "Jessica and I have shared such a great relationship and I really do believe she's my true love."
Potter said he was planning to propose before his deployment to Afghanistan next spring with the Oregon Army National Guard.
"My plans haven't changed and I'm going to be with her the whole entire time through everything," he said.
Potter and Neffendorf's family from Gresham have been at her bedside around the clock.
"For me and her mother, it's been one of the most difficult, horrible things you could ever go through in life," said Patrick Smith, Neffendorf's stepfather.
Smith said he's grateful for the doctors keeping her alive, for the Mario Pastega House providing free lodging and for friends raising money for Neffendorf's care.
"I get tears every time I think about it. It's hard to hold them back right now and it's just amazing the people that surround us and give us hope and give us prayers," Smith said.
Smith said the family is focused on the future - hoping the swelling in her brain will cease.
"The last couple days have been positive signs so we're real optimistic that she's going to recover," Smith said.
Cannard is facing charges of assault, DUII, reckless endangering, reckless driving and driving while suspended.
There are several fundraising efforts planned for Neffendorf. Parts of proceeds at the following locations will go to help in her recovery.
Thursday, Dec. 5, Midnight Roundup in Gresham (http://www.greshamcountrybar.com/)
Tuesday, Dec. 10, Papa's Pizza on Coburg Road in Eugene (http://www.papaspizza.net/locations/)
Wednesday, Jan. 15, Papa's Pizza in Corvallis ( http://www.papaspizza.net/locations/)
Donations can be made at any U.S. Bank or through http://jessicaneffendorf.com/.
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